Labour’s Kris Faafoi has won the Mana by-election with 10,397 (46%) of the 22,387 votes cast. However, National’s Hekia Parata was close behind, with 9,317 (42%).
Third place went to the Green Party’s Jan Logie with 1,493 (6.7%). With Matt McCarten, standing as an independent backed by his Unite union coming in forth with 816 (3.6%). Also on the left, Kelly Buchanan of the Alliance gained 37 votes, despite endorsing McCarten.
McCarten’s result was better than any of the radical left (Alliance, Workers Party or RAM) candidates achieved in the last general election. However these were poor results themselves and I think many will be disappointed with this result.
During the campaign, there has been much speculation about McCarten’s plans to launch a new left party. This result will not provide much of a boost for this idea.
On the positive side however, McCarten’s campaign has seen a large group of radical left activists working together, it has highlighted some significant social issues and fired the imagination of many of the left who, at least for the duration of the campaign are taking the idea of a new party more seriously.