Greens candidate casts vote

Mr Hernandez voting yesterday.
Mr Hernandez voting yesterday.
If Dunedin Green Party candidate Francisco Hernandez makes it into Parliament by one vote, he will know who to thank.

Yesterday, Mr Hernandez advance voted at the University of Otago at a polling place he knows well, having previously voted for himself there as president of the Otago University Students’ Association, an election he won.

"That was special," he said afterwards. I’ve voted for myself before, but that felt more momentous."

At 17 on the party list, Mr Hernandez is on the cusp of being elected as an MP, should the most recent opinion polls be correct, and he will need every vote he can get, including his own.

"We are at 13% now and climbing up, I think we will end up at 15% when all the votes are counted and I’m really pleased about that."

Green Party Dunedin candidate Francisco Hernandez (left), co-leader Marama Davidson and Taieri...
Green Party Dunedin candidate Francisco Hernandez (left), co-leader Marama Davidson and Taieri candidate Scott Willis surrounded by Otago Campus Greens members at the University of Otago yesterday. PHOTOS: PETER MCINTOSH
Dunedin, formerly Dunedin North, regularly ranks in the Green Party’s top five electorates as a source of party votes.

Co-leader Marama Davidson spent Sunday and Monday campaigning in Dunedin.

"This visit is about reminding people of the power of their vote, especially students," Ms Davidson said.

On Sunday night, Ms Davidson represented the unwell Mr Hernandez at the Opoho candidates meeting.

"It was a lot of fun and it was packed out. I’m glad to see it was really popular ... it was awesome and I am very humbled to have been able to step up in there," she said.

Should Mr Hernandez make it into Parliament, Dunedin would have elected two Green MPs; its Taieri candidate, Scott Willis, is ranked 12 on its list.

• Just over 607,000 people had voted yesterday, well down from the 1.1 million who had voted at the corresponding time in 2020.