Image by Getty Images via @daylifeSo the Mana by-election was a victory for the Gnats - haha...
It was always going to be difficult for the Labour candidate Kris Faafoi, he was unknown and up against a seasoned candidate in Hekia Parata.Nobody was going to replace Winnie Laban in a hurry. Her sudden decision to leave politics has never really been discussed.
There were a couple of other good candidates standing which pulled votes off the Labour candidate. But he won and won by over a thousand votes. About 47% of voters bothered to vote, remembering it was postal voting too, which does not guarantee people to vote.
He will triple his majority at next years general elections and double that three years later.
I don't think that Phil Goff had too much an influence on the result; but his inability to find some traction is of concern to the Labour Party.
Labour won and the Gnats came second. Next years general elections will be determined also by the re-emergence of New Zealand First who received 4.5% of the vote at the last elections. I expect Rodney Hide to be defeated, the Maori Party to decline because of their association with National, the Greens to increase their percentage of votes, and New Zealand First to poll at least 5% of the vote. If they go with Labour and the Greens it will be goodbye nurse despite whatever Labour was showing in the pre-election polls. And who cares how popular John key may still be - he may well be a popular political corpse!