You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
10.50pm - Labour romps home in Te Tai Tonga
With 95.8% of the vote counted Rino Tirikatene (10,555) is easily beating the Maori Party's Tākuta Ferris (5129) in Te Tai Tonga. Labour is winning the party vote with 59.7% with Green Party on 11.5%.
11.15pm - Greater Christchurch has almost turned red – looking likely to give Labour most of its electorate seats.
Christchurch Central (90% counted) Labour's Duncan Webb 18779; National's Dale Stephens 7981.
Christchurch East (93.7% counted) Labour's Poto Williams 20,794; National's Lincoln Platt 6752.
Wigram (84.3% counted) Labour's Megan Woods 16,466; National's Hamish Campbell 6744.
Banks Peninsula (95% counted) Labour's Tracey McLellan 21,821; National's Catherine Chu, 10,717.
Selwyn (93% counted) National's Nicola Grigg 17,934; Labour's Reuben Davidson 12,969.
Waimakariri (94.6% counted) National's Matt Doocey 19,214; Labour's Dan Rosewarne 17,239.
Kaikoura (100% counted) National's Stuart Smith 16,105; Labour's Matt Flight 13,823.
Rangitata (100% counted) Labour's Jo Luxton 18,876; National's Megan Hands 15,392.
11pm - Former National Party leader Simon Bridges has confirmed that he will not have another run at the leadership of the National Party.
"I'm not interested in that," Bridges, who was ousted as leader of the party this year, said while discussing Labour's dominance in tonight's election results.
"I've been there and done that and I was looking forward to being senior minister again," he said.
10.28pm - Ardern declares victory
"Tonight New Zealand has shown the Labour Party its greatest support in at least 50 years," Ardern said in her speech.
"Elections aren't always great at bringing people together, but they also don't need to tear one another apart."
She said Labour would govern positively, just like she said it had campaigned.
"Now more than ever is the time to keep going. So let's step forward together. Let's keep moving."
She said Labour was committed to key infrastructure, 100% renewal electricity, the environment and supporting those at risk.
"Our plans are already in action and working."
Davidson faced a difficult task in the race for the Selwyn electorate which is seen to be one of the National Party's safest seats in the country. With 86 per cent of votes counted, he is trailing by about 5000 votes.
Said Gunn: "I have worked with Reuben Davidson for years. He is one of the smartest people I know, I am just here to support him, I am just so proud of him, he is generous and genuine. What he has done for the people of Selwyn already is incredible, he is a name to watch, he will be very successful. I am also a huge Jacinda fan, I will shout that from the rooftops, she is just a people person, Reuben is a people person, I'm a people person, it is all about the people."
Gunn described tonight as a "great night for New Zealand" as Labour looks set to secure its strongest footing in Parliament in more than 50 years.
10.39pm - Labour's Poto Williams is 13,854 ahead of National's Lincoln Platt in Christchurch East after 88.1% counted.
10.29pm - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is giving her victory speech at Auckland Town Hall.
"Tonight New Zealand has shown the Labour Party its greatest support in at least 50 years," Ardern said.
"We have seen that support in both urban areas and rural areas, in seats we may have hoped for, and in seats we may not have expected."
She thanked all supporters who "worked so hard" to share Labour's message.
She also thanked candidates and MPs who "worked three years" to earn support
"But most importantly, thank you to so many people who gave us their vote."
"For those amongst you who may not have supported Labour before ... to you I say thank you. We will not take your support for granted."
10.25pm - Gerry Brownlee has conceded Ilam - a seat he has held for 24 years.
The deputy leader of the National Party thanked his family for their support during his political career.
He said he had no regrets about handing over the leadership prior to last election.
He said tonight was a "vote of confidence" in Ardern's leadership.
Labour's Sarah Pallett, a midwifery lecturer, rushed ahead early in the race.
She's more than 2129 votes ahead after more than two thirds of the votes (80 per cent) have been counted.
Brownlee, who spearheaded the John Key government's rebuild of the city after the devastating 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, has served as the Member of Parliament for Ilam since 1996.
Tonight, the former woodwork school teacher and campaigner chairperson arrived at National's campaign headquarters in central Christchurch.
A humbled Brownlee told One News he had "no regrets".
"Oh well, you know it's democracy isn't it," he said.
"You put your words out there and the voters make their choice."
10.23pm - And Nelson has gone to Labour. National MP Nick Smith is out. Labour's Rachel Boyack has taken the seat by 3577. The carnage in the provinces for National continues.
10.17pm - Labour's Tracey McLellan looks to have all but wrapped up the race to become MP for the freshly formed Banks Peninsula electorate. She is ahead on 20,645 votes, her closet challenger Catherine Chu from the National Party has 9,974 with 78 per cent counted.
Said McLellan: "I am just really pleased for Labour. I don't know, I just feel, again it sounds like a cliche, I am just really honoured."
10.13pm - Three quarters of the vote counted.
Labour - 49.0%
National - 27.0%
Greens - 7.6%
Act - 8.0%
NZ First - 2.6%
Māori Party (currently winning one electorate seat) - 1.0%
Other - 5.0%
10.11pm - At the Woolston Club where Labour Party supporters and MPs were gathered, cheers erupted during National party leader Judith Collins' televised speech when she thanked her deputy leader Gerry Brownlee.
"Goodbye Gerry" could be heard from multiple parts of the room. With 76 per cent of votes accounted for, Brownlee is still trailing by more than 2000 votes to Labour's Sarah Pallett and looks all but certain to lose the seat he has held for 24 years.
10.05pm - "Thank you for lifting that load off me so I could give everything to the campaign," Collins said.
Collins has thanked the unsuccessful National candidates. And, in an emotional statement, she thanked her husband David and son, James.
"Thank you for lifting that load off me so I can give everything to the campaign."
"I'm sorry to see you go," Collins says to those not able to return to Parliament.
She has called Ardern and congratulated her.
Collins is now thanking all others involved in the party for their "unrelenting" devotion to the cause.
"When I became leader ... we had to work very quickly and with confidence ... thank you [Gerry Brownlee] for always backing me."
She says it's been a "gruelling and long campaign".
"It's been a tough night....but we will be back, bring on 2023."
"You've done everything we asked you to."
"And thank you to everyone who voted National," she says.
"The next three years will be an opportunity for us to repay that trust."
9.59pm - Judith Collins is speaking and looks like she is conceding. Meanwhile, Jacinda Ardern is currently in the process of leaving her suburban Auckland house and heading to Labour campaign HQ.
Ardern addressed well wishers saying she wanted to say hi to her "lovely neighbours".
9.58pm - two thirds counted now (66%):
Labour - 49.2%
National - 26.8%
Greens - 7.7%
Act - 8.0%
NZ First - 2.5%
Other - 6.0%
9.57pm - Gerry Brownlee is out in Ilam.
Brownlee has tonight repeatedly referenced the Covid-19 global pandemic as a major reason for Labour’s upsurge this year.
And speaking to NZME in Christchurch tonight, as the shock results rolled in, he made a remarkable concession.
In times of uncertainty, people often look to stability, he said, and that was where what he described as the “extraordinary efforts” of Jacinda Ardern “have made quite a difference”.
But in the same breath, he believed Judith Collins had done “a fantastic job in the three moths she got the opportunity to campaign” and believes that she will be “a good leader going forward”.
9.56pm - Rangitata has gone to Labour. In the first electorate declared, Labour have taken the true blue National seat in the South Island, previously held by Andrew Falloon who resigned after admitting send lewd pictures. The new MP is Labour's Jo Luxton by a sizeable majority of 3,484. And, to rub salt into National's wounds in the electorate, Labour have won the electorate vote 48% to 32%. Another of National's blue seats in the South Island has fallen.
9.52pm - Labour Party President Claire Szabo says the party has carried out a huge grassroots campaign.
With results still coming in Labour appears to be well ahead, and in the lead in some traditionally National strong-hold seats.
Ms Szabo says New Zealanders appear to have got behind the leadership Labour has shown.
But she says it's also down to the record breaking grassroots support and the start of a real movement.
Ms Szabo says she suspects a lot of individual races will be very close, and there will likely be a few re-counts required.
9.47pm - Rangitata goes to Labour's Jo Luxton who is 3511 votes ahead of National's Megan Hands after almost 100% of the vote counted.
9.44pm - Winston Peters still will not concede yet.
9.40pm - Labour's Tracey McLellan is looking at a landslide in Banks Peninsula. She is leading National's Catherine Chu by 10,287 with 67% of the vote counted.
Said Webb: "It is a seismic shift in Ilam. Call EQC Gerry, there has been an earthquake. I think it is fantastic, I don't think Gerry has served us well. Sarah has that compassionate approach that will make her a great MP for Ilam."
9.33pm - 52% of the vote counted:
Labour - 49.7%
National - 26.5%
Greens - 7.9%
Act - 7.9%
NZ First - 2.4%
Other - 5.8%
9.30pm - We're halfway there! With 50% of the votes counted, Labour is still on track for 65 seats and could govern alone, National 35, Greens and Act with 10 seats each
9.28pm - Labour's Sarah Pallett is continuing to lead National's Gerry Brownlee in the race for the Ilam electorate which he has held since 1996. Pallett has more than 2000 votes over Brownlee with 55 votes accounted for.
9.24pm - National's Nicola Grigg leads in Selwyn by 2963 over Labour's Reuben Davidson with 60.1% counted.
9.23pm - Labour's Duncan Webb leads in the Chch Central race by 9035 votes with 49.1% counted.
9.22pm - Winston Peters has thanked NZ First supporters for their efforts.
“God bless you and God bless New Zealand,” he said, in the shortest election night speech he has ever given.
"Ladies and gentlemen, elections are about democracy, and we should never stop trusting the people."
He says the election was like "no other this country has ever seen, even in wartime", due to Covid-19.
"As for the next challenge, we will all have to wait and see."
9.20pm - A humbled Gerry Brownlee has told One News he had “no regrets”.
“Oh well, you know it’s democracy isn’t it,” he said from a somber Christchurch National Party headquarters.
“You put your words out there and the voters make their choice.”
He said “no one has a mortgage on their seat”.
Brownlee struggled to answer what went wrong but admitted that he probably didn’t campaign as much as normal.
He cited the example of former Australian Prime Minister John Howard losing his seat, adding “it’s not unusual”.
“In the end, it was the choice of the voters.”
He didn’t think things had gone wrong for National, but rather that once the Covid-19 national lockdown came back in March, their polling position “did a virtual 180 degree turn”, and the Labour Party got a boost.
Afterwards, former deputy National leader Nikki Kaye paid tribute to Brownlee and his body of work.
“My personal view is Gerry is a superb MP,” she told One News.
9.17pm - It is a close race in the Waimakariri electorate, with National's Matt Doocey leading Labour's Dan Rosewarne by less than 200 votes. A total of 44 per cent have been counted so far.
Said Rosewarne: "This was unexpected. We knew that it was going to be a tough electorate. I am both nervous and excited."
9.11pm - The atmosphere in Christchurch’s Labour HQ is jubilant - with Sarah Pallett leading Ilam by thousands of votes. The air’s erupting in cheering and whistling every time Ilam appears on the screen.
She congratulated Jacinda Ardern on a comprehensive win. She said the Greens had worked well with Ardern's Labour and the Green Party was looking forward to the next three years.
9.09pm - Ilam could be going to Labour. If it does then all of Christchurch will be painted red. At the moment, with 41.5% of the vote counted, Gerry Brownlee is 2556 votes behind Sarah Pallett. And the Labour Party is way ahead in the party vote - 45.7% against National's 29%.
Gerry Brownlee is on TVNZ saying "it's democracy, isn't it."
"The trend you see in Ilam is what you're seeing across the country."
"It is what it is," he says.
On what's gone wrong for National, Brownlee says it's not so much that thing went wrong for National, but that polling changed after the Covid-19 lockdown.
9.08pm - Labour's sitting MP for Christchurch East Poto Williams is currently leading by more than 10,000 votes with nearly half of all votes counted. Said Williams: "it's amazing, it really is. I always knew that we worked hard but the validation by the numbers is really cool and just a representation of the hard work over not just this term but the past seven years."
9.04pm - Gerry Brownlee is in big trouble. He told RNZ earlier in the night he thought he would call it at 40% of the vote counted.
That's just ticked over, and Labour's Sarah Pallett is winning by 2529 votes.
8.56pm - Former reporter and political adviser Nicola Grigg is holding a strong lead in the National stronghold of Selwyn, south of Christchurch - bucking the Canterbury sea of red.Grigg is ahead by 1912 votes over Labour's Reuben Davidson with nearly half the votes counted (44.8 per cent).
Said Fouda: "It is the policy from Jacinda Ardern and how she was able to handle the pandemic, she was able to keep the country safe, It was also the strong support for the community after March 15, which has led to us being on the world stage. We are leading and we want to continue under this leadership of Jacinda Ardern."
8.51pm - Sitting National MP for Kaikōura, Stuart Smith also faces a hugely nervous night. After winning comfortably three years ago, Smith is just 171 votes ahead of Labour's Matt Flight with 39.8 per cent of the vote being counted.
8.50pm - At the Labour Party’s Christchurch headquarters, Sarah Pallett wasn’t getting ahead of herself, despite a commanding lead over Gerry Brownlee.
With a third of the votes counted (33.1 per cent), the local midwifery lecturer and mother-of-two, was a staggering 2495 votes ahead.
“It’s really early days,” she told NZME.
She paid tribute to a whole team who had put in a lot of work to try and wrestle the seat away from Brownlee.
But she was conscious there was a long way to go.
“We’re not counting our chickens.”
8.48pm - A third of the votes counted (34%):
Labour - 50.6%
National - 25.8%
Greens - 8.2%
Act - 7.6%
NZ First - 2.3%
Other - 5.7%
8.45pm - National stalwart Gerry Brownlee has fallen behind early in the race for his long-held Ilam seat in Christchurch.
Labour's Sarah Pallett, a midwifery lecturer, has rushed ahead early.
Tonight, the former woodwork school teacher and campaigner chairperson arrived at National's campaign headquarters in Central Christchurch.
Commenting to media on the results as they stood, he said: "It's democracy, isn't it? We'll see how the whole night plays out.
"Recognising this election has been dominated by the Government's response to Covid-19 ... the reality is none of the issues we raised during the campaign have gone away so there is still a job for an opposition."
8.43pm - It is currently a close race to become the MP for the Selwyn electorate, which is considered to be a safe National seat. With 42 per cent of votes counted, there is less than 2000 votes to separate National's Nicola Grigg and Labour's Reuben Davidson.
Said Davidson: "I am probably cautiously optimistic at this stage. I think the support shows the sentiment across the country and the confidence in this strong Labour team led by Jacinda Ardern."
Said McLellan: 'I just feel so humbled. It felt like this on the ground but to see it actually come into fruition in the ballot box is just amazing. I am almost a bit teary."
8.35pm - Is the South Island going Red? At this stage Labour are ahead in all of the National seats in the South island - bar Clutha-Southland. That is Kaikoura, Nelson, Rangitata and Ilam. We'll have more shortly. And remember, all the returns are not in.
8.30pm - The van taking Labour leader Jacinda Ardern to the election night party venue has just backed into position in her driveway and is parked behind a closed fence.
8.28pm - Neck and neck contests between Labour and National at 8.28 pm: Waitaki (18 votes in it), Kaikoura (39), Waimakariri (121).
8.28pm - Crowds of well wishers are now gathering outside Prime Minister Jacinda Arden’s home anticipating the moment she leaves.
8.24pm - Said Megan Woods about the Wigram race: "Look it is early days, we won't know the result until the final count comes in, but this is a reflection of what we have been feeling on the ground throughout our campaign. I am also just absolutely thrilled to see the party vote coming out of Wigram, 50 per cent of the party vote to Labour, so really pleased to see such strong support."
8.21pm - Battle royale in Waimak: A third Waimakariri lead swap with ex-Army officer Dan Rosewarne storming back for Labour and overtaking incumbent National MP Matt Doocey. After 36.6 per cent of the votes, Rosewarne's up by 364.
8.21pm - Sitting Labour MP for the Wigram electorate Megan Woods is currently leading her nearest competitor, National's Hamish Campbell, by more than 5000 votes.
8.20pm - Labour way ahead with 22.4% of vote counted
8.20pm - National faithful gathers at Brydone Hotel in Oamaru
About 20 people have turned out for National's Waitaki party at the Brydone Hotel in Oamaru.
8.18pm - In the Dunedin seat of Taieri, former TV reporter Ingrid Leary holds a comfortable lead over National's Liam Kernaghan; 1664 votes with 17.5 per cent of the electorate's vote counted. The seat was previously held by departed Labour MP Clare Curran.
8.12pm - Gerry Brownlee tells RNZ's Corin Dann he will be waiting for more votes to be counted.
He's trailing by about 2000 votes with 28% of hte vote counted.
"I don't think anything went wrong with the campaign, I think Judith campaigned extremely well.
"It's been difficult to get up some of the issues we thought voters should be considering for what they wanted out of the next three years."
"You know, it is what it is."
8.10pm - With 20% of the vote counted:
Labour - 50.4%
Greens - 8.3%
NZ First - 2.3%
National - 25.7%
Act - 7.6%
Other - 5.8%
8.08pm - Incumbent Labour MP for the Christchurch Central Electorate Duncan Webb is currently leading his closest challenger, National's Dale Stephens, by more than 5000 votes. He was grateful for the support shown from his constituents.
8pm - Labour's Ilam candidate Sarah Pallett still has taken an early lead over National's Gerry Brownlee - who's held the seat for 24 years. Pallett says it'd be great to paint Christchurch red. She says her team's campaigned hard for this - but it's still very early days.
7.57 - David Cunliffe, the former Labour leader, tells Duncan Garner: "This is looking like a landslide. Early days, yes, but this is looking like a landslide."
7.53pm - National's deputy leader Gerry Brownlee is running second at the moment in Ilam. With more than 20 percent of the vote counted Labour's Sarah Pallett is leading by two thousand votes.
7.48pm - 11% counted now - here's the party vote
Labour - 50.2%
Greens - 8.2%
NZ First - 2.3%
National - 26.0%
Act - 7.7%
Māori Party - 1.0%
Other - 4.8%
7.47pm - Another seat to watch is Rangitata. Now this is early days yet, only a third of votes counted, but this should be a true blue seat, one to pencil into the Blue list. But with 33 percent of the vote counted, the Labour candidate Jo Luxton has a 4,221 lead over National's Megan Hands. There is no word yet on which of the polling booths have reported but this is shaping up as an interesting seat to watch.
7.45pm - Bucking the red trend across Canterbury seats, first-time National candidate Nicola Grigg has a commanding lead over Labour's Reuben Davidson. Grigg, a former reporter and political adviser, is 1647 votes ahead after a 21 per cent being counted.
7.45pm - In the Banks Peninsula seat, Labour's Tracey Lee McLennan is well ahead of National's Catherine Chu - a lead of 3800 after 12.5 per cent of the votes counted.
With 2% of the vote counted, Labour is faring even better than the polling numbers. At this point, Labour is snaring 50% of the vote, National is on 26%, the Greens on 8.5%, Act on 7.5%, NZ First on 2.2% and the Maori Party on 0.7%. - NZ Herald
Here are the contenders as the results come in.
• David Bennett Green Party
• Gerry Brownlee National Party
• Paul Gilbert ACT New Zealand
• Heidi Jensen-Warren NZ Outdoors Party
• Sarah Pallett Labour Party
• Toni Pengelly Advance NZ
• Simon Walmisley New Conservative
• Mark Arneil New Zealand First Party
• Michael Britnell Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party
• Carole Church Advance NZ
• Chrys Horn Green Party
• Abigail Johnson ACT New Zealand
• Hayden Laurie Independent
• Benjamin Price New Conservative
• Dale Stephens National Party
• Duncan Webb Labour Party
• Ken Webb ONE Party
• Nikki Berry Green Party
• Paula Maree Eason ONE Party
• Helen Houghton New Conservative
• Paula Lambert Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party
• Glen McConnell Advance NZ
• Lincoln Platt National Party
• Toni Severin ACT New Zealand
• Charlotte Staples NZ Outdoors Party
• Poto Williams Labour Party
• Douglas John Allington Advance NZ
• Hamish Campbell National Party
• Tubby Hansen NZ Economic Euthenics Party
• Deane Landreth Social Credit
• Miles Jacin McConway ACT New Zealand
• Linda McLaughlin ONE Party
• Geoff McTague Independent
• Averil Nuttall New Conservative
• Richard Wesley Green Party
• Megan Woods Labour Party
• Ben Atkinson The Opportunities Party (TOP)
• Catherine Chu National Party
• David Fox ACT New Zealand
• Caleb Honiss New Conservative
• Tracey Lee McLellan Labour Party
• Denis O'Rouke New Zealand First Party
• Eugenie Sage Green Party
• Tiamara Williams Advance NZ
Incumbent MP: National's Amy Adams (66.22% of the vote in 2017)
• Stuart Armstrong ACT New Zealand
• Reuben Davidson Labour Party
• Nicola Grigg National Party
• Jerry Larason Advance NZ
• Bronwyn Lyell New Conservative
• Abe O'Donnell Green Party
• Calvin Payne Independent
• Leighton Baker New Conservative
• James Davies ACT New Zealand
• Matt Doocey National Party
• John Hyndman Sustainable New Zealand Party
• Lawrence McIsaac Social Credit
• Shelley Richardson Advance NZ
• Dan Rosewarne Labour Party
• Bjorn Sadler Independent