Live blogging the election

It’s a Saturday. I’m in Raglan. I have nothing better to do so I’m live-blogging the general election.

7.05 So I’ve decided to live blog the election results. I’m at my parents’ watching the election coverage on TV1, natch.

7.09 I voted earlier today at the Michael Fowler Centre (chosen for its splendid architecture). I got all emotional when I realised I was voting in Wellington Central. Also, it was in the same room that the American election shindig was held. I call this the Room of Democracy.

7.12 In other news, my friends Dylz and Mel have just had a baby. He will be named Helen.

7.13 Ha ha – United Future’s TV abbreviation is UNF.

7.15 On the telly – lots of gentlemen with graphs. Oh, you know what? If you have Freeview, you should watch the Back Benches Election Special. It’s going to be rad.

7.17 TVNZ are having a barbecue out on the deck. Last election there was no BBQ; instead that bloody guy threatened to fly his plane into the Sky Tower.

7.18 I’m being lured with delicious steak IRL.

7.41 Steak consumed. Back to the telly. You can nae make conclusions with only 4% counted.

7.46 I asked Mum if she considered voting for NZ First as Winston’s Gold Card has given her all sorts of fabulous discounts. She laughed, as if the idea of voting for them was completely unthinkable.

7.48 So who did Mum vote for? “I thought ‘fuck it’ and voted National.” Please note: my mum never says the F word.

7.51 Dad voted Green as they were his best choice for a coalition partner with both National and Labour.

7.52 Also, whanau are in a badly drawn electorate – they live in the Waikato but are in the Taranaki-King Country electorate. Mental!

8.05 Watching some politcal comedy on TV1. It’s not awse.

8.08 Yeah, the first hour or so is kind of dull. News break – Obama: he’s awesome!

8.12 Time for Back Benches. Watching Tanerau introducing Wallace to the Whiteboard-o-tron 2000. Srsly bringing the lolz.

8.16 This is nice – entertaining political and election coverage. Go, Back Benches!

8.19 Oh, Heather Roy has dyed her hair yellow to match party colours!

8.21 Dessert – cherry clafouti.

8.24 Hilariously, Heather’s Roy’s hairdresser is being interviewed. But not about Roy’s yellow hair – she’s a first-time voter.

8.33 This blogging seems so inadequate without a hologram of

8.41 “I still think he’s a sell-out and he betrayed the worker’s struggle” – some Marxist guy brings the lolz.

8.44 Dear Kiwi Party girl has no apparent media training and just keeps digging her hole with great hilariousness.

8.47 “There’s hardly been a story on Wellington Central,” moans Sue Kedgley. Well, true. Is it an indicator seat or is it just a bit too random for that?

8.49 Stephen Franks likes reading Whale Oil blog. Oh dear.

8.51 Back Benches doesn’t have a scroll of results, so it’s kind of like taking a little break from the madness. Well, there’s also the web for results.

8.56 I support MMP because the first two elections I voted in (’93 and ’96), I was in the Waikato electorate, a “safe” National seat. I ticked the box for the McGillicuddy Serious candidate as a protest of sorts (and because McGS did good political art stunts). It actually paid off in one way – McGS got enough votes to earn airtime for political ads, but MMP was the death of them when party votes actually counted. So when 1999 came, I gleefully voted for the MP and party I wanted. Neither of them got into government, though.

9.02 Is “overhang” the political equivalent of a muffin top?

9.04 Brittany, the first-time hairdresser voter, is pouting and posing as she talks about her voting experience. Put that on your Bebo.

9.06 Maori Party’s TV abbreviation is MRI, which reminds me of House MD.

9.09 Jenny Shipley is sporting a Suzanne Prentice hairdo. Mum says she looks like Herman Munster. This is what election night is all about.

9.12 Vox pops on TV1 – two guys say they’re not voting Labour because it’s “time for some change”, just like they did in America. What? There is no Ministry of Change or select committees on change. Only numbnuts vote on change for change’s sake.

9.18 Mum observes “you don’t see that swing-o-meter thing any more.” Dad: “That’s because it doesn’t work any more.”

9.21 Jeremy Wells is in Gore, getting all the locals to say ‘Working For Families’ with their Southland R. Comedy gold!

9.30 “The big boobs do have an impact” – J Shipley.

9.31 Oh, whoops, I mean “The big booths do have an impact” – J Shipley.

9.35 Auckland Central, Wellington Central and Christchurch Central are neck-and-neck Labour and National. Damn urbanites.

9.41 Tariana Turia sounds completely miserable, and yet the Maori Party aren’t doing too badly.

9.46 “A lot of National’s policies are very socialist” – my dad. Shh! Don’t tell Sarah Palin!

9.49 TVNZ 7’s Greg Boyed notes that Helen hasn’t come out of her house. What is he expecting? “Hello, Greg. Would you like to come in for some scones? Peter’s just baked a fresh batch.”

9.51 Again, I am so glad I’m not in the Epsom electorate any more. Though it is nice to see that the good people of Epsom understand how MMP works.

10.05 Simon Dallow: “As a proud bogan myself…” Oh, Simon.

10.06 It’s that fun game when you mentally tally up the bar charts and come up with potential coalitions.

10.10 “Nationoow usn’t going to count ut’s chuckuns” – Boow Unglush.

10.13 UNF leader Peter Dunne is back. Oh, thank you so much, Churton Park.

10.14 Winston is about to make a speech. Will it be as good as McCain’s?

10.16 Oh, things are going to be tough and unfortunately they’re not going to have Winston with them to get through their tough times, etc.

10.17 New Zealand was “once the greatest country on earth”. Not sure what we currently are. Does not having Winston as an MP now mean NZ is no longer great?

10.20 Ooh, the evil meeja scum killed Winston’s dream! Boo!

10.29 Judith Tizard has lost Auckland Central. Interesting – boundaries have changed but I hear Tizard hasn’t been working well. Geeks remember the copyright law thingy!

10.30 In Tauranga, the evil meeja scum are trying to interview Winston, but Winston ain’t having none of that, etc.

10.32 Michelle Boag’s jacket is the same colour as the set’s background, making her head look like it’s floating in space.

10.35 Observation: Even though National has a lot of the same of guys from the ’90s, they do have a lot of younger, new people. But Labour’s stuck with a lot of the same old faces.

10.37 Grant Robertson wins Wellington Central! Hoorah! I met him a few months ago and was impressed. I’m really happy to have him as a local MP, and I think he’s a great asset for the Labour Party.

10.41 Potential bonus with a right-wing government: material for leftie satirists, a la The Daily Show?

10.47 Interesting – TV1 panel speculates that anti-kid-hitting bill turned some voters off Labour. Yet National have no plans to overturn it.

10.51 John Key’s “opulent house” looks like a tszujed up leaky home. Whereas Helen has a humble villa.

10.55 When did “indicator seats” become “bellweather seats”? What is “bellweather”?

10.56 Ah, it’s spelt bellwether. Wikipedia sez: “The term is derived from the Middle English bellewether and refers to the practice of placing a bell around the neck of a castrated ram (a wether) leading its flock of sheep. The movements of the flock could be perceived by hearing the bell before the flock was in sight.” Eeeee!

10.57 It looks like Helen’s made The Phone Call. She’s going to make her speech soon.

10.59 Dad is going to bed now. “What they do tonight isn’t important. It’s what they do next week and next year, and that’s not going to have anything to do with what they say their policies are.”

11.01 National’s HQ is at Sky City – go the pokies!

11.05 “The controversial Sir Roger Douglas”. Old Great-Uncle Roger gets wheeled out of the basement. Maybe.

11.06 Peter Dunne’s hair: it’s so solid.

11.13 Yawn. It’s all waiting now. I wonder if John Key wants an Obamaesque speech.

11.15 Helen’s on her way to her people. Oh, Helen!

11.23 During TV1 ad breaks, TVNZ 7 runs mini docos about NZ election history. The coverage of the first MMP election showed a youthful Winston and vox pops with people wearing giant ’90s-style glasses. Man, that was so long ago!

11.21 Helen’s election hall is painted blue. Oh dear!

11.23 Helen had better make a good speech.

11.25 Helen briefly thanks John and accepts “responsibility for the result”. Oh, so perhaps it’s time for her to step down?

11.30 Helen’s standing down!

11.31 It seems inevitable. She’s had a good long time as leader and it makes sense that someone else step in now. But who?

11.33 I keep thinking John Key’s wife is called Brotown.

11.40 Labour new leader – will it be a pakeha male?

11.42 Mt Albert will have a more dedicated MP.

11.45 Wide shot of National Party party – dudes in suits with booze.

11.47 Some reporter is attempting to interview Key. She asks him how he feels. “It feels great, but…” But what? BUT WHAT, MR KEY?

11.48 Bro, nah.

11.49 What is that horrible song playing at the NP party?

11.50 Change has won! Yeah, all your 10c and 20c coins are in charge now!

11.52 “You’ve come to shear our beliefs.” Go Key’s Kiwi vowels!

11.53 Personal anecdote time. It’s all about personal responsibility.

11.54 How come when he’s smiling – and presumedly when he’s genuinely happy – his smile looks fake?

11.55 Wait, did he just mention “Kiwi ingenuity” with utter glee? Is it the 1980s?

11.55 We must use our size to our advantage, “to be nimble, sure-footed and flexible.” And tiny-handed? That too?

11.56 Light shining on Key’s forehead produces two shiny spots that are curved like horns. OMG

11.57 John thanks Helen. Some audience members applaud, others jeer. Like the Republican supporters booed Obama?

11.58 John confirms it’ll be a Nat-Act-Unf love triangle.

11.59 And a “willingness to engage in dialogue” with the Maori Party. Wait, “willingness to engage in dialogue”? Dude, you’re not an investment banker any more.

12.00 Boow Unglish is “in Gore and I know they know how to have a good time there.” Did a professional speechwriter write that? If so, they should be fired. If not, one should be hired.

12.01 Pronounces Otaki as “Oh tacky”. Oh, tacky!

12.04 Really underwhelming speech. It didn’t offer much inspiration, other than “Stuff is quite good now but it’s going to get more awesome!!!!”

12.05 I love the My Chemical Romance look Key’s daughter is rocking. It’s very un-traditional-National!

12.07 The main thing that seems to have been decided – someone different is Prime Minister. Who cares wot his policies are?

12.10 I should go to bed now. Congratulations to my new MP, Grant Robertson! Night-night!

9 thoughts on “Live blogging the election”

  1. Especially when the early polling booths to return are typically smaller rural ones that favour National.

    What did you have with the steak?

  2. I f@rt in the direction of the general election.

    Good commentary though.

    In my electorate (Wellington Central) we have sent a clear signal that we want….. more of the same!

  3. I’m digging those classic Key vowels too, in an excruciated sort of way.

    (Cue old joke: “Are you gunna shear that sheep, mate?” “Nah, get your own, ya sicko.”).

  4. I praised elsewhere, but… great work. You had me at 7.12 pm.
    (A friend in the States is going through IVF and if the procedure works conception would have been on election day. She’s vowed to call the baby Barack Hussein Obama and I am so going to hold her to that.)

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