Mooney new MP for Southland, but Labour wins party vote

After the race looked close early in the night National candidate Joseph Mooney has swept to victory in Southland, but Labour has won the party vote.

Mooney (17,817) celebrated victory over Labour's Jon Mitchell (12,741) at the Gore Club in the heart of the newly created electorate.

Mr Mooney said he had an incredible experience campaigning since he was selected as National's candidate following the resignation of disgraced MP Hamish Walker.

He said he looked forward to advocating for the region in Wellington.

However, the Labour tide that swept New Zealand turned one of the country's bluest seats red.

Labour won 38.5% of the party vote, compared to National's 36.8%.

The electorate was dominated by National in 2017, with Mr Walker (21,819) getting almost three times the vote of Labour candidate Cherie Chapman (7,465).

National got 59.26% of the party vote in 2017 to Labour's 24.22%.

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