What a night. What a result. What an overhang. What a hangover. My head feels like Winston P threw up in it.
I observed election night at the Museum Hotel, Mark Blumsky's HQ, spending all night juggling numbers with red wine as a learning aid. The last time I was in the Museum Hotel was in 1999, when Richard Prebble lost Wellington Central to BooBoo. This time round, I watched Mark Blumsky lose to BooBoo. Strangely, this time round wasn't nearly as painful.
The pain was mitigated by Rodney Hide winning Epsom. Never in my life have I been so happy at being proved wrong. Way to go, Rodney! For the first time since 1999, Act has a leader with an electorate seat and all the mana that goes with it. Keith Locke is now forced to strip and sprint starkers down Epsom's main drag or admit he made a promise he won't keep. Everybody wins.
It's not even that down-heartening to see Act lose seven seats. Muriel Newman has been cast aside, paving the way for the excellent Heather Roy to become Deputy Leader. The election result has forced a bloodletting in Act it so desperately needed, allowing it to rejuvenate with a less ideologically schizophrenic platform. The battle between the Libs and the Rabids, which caused a new policy vacuum for the party, is over. The Libs won.
Over at the Greens, Frog admits that Mike Ward is on his bike. Considering he spent most of last year on one, it certainly is a just conclusion. The special votes should get Nandor back in the House. I hope so. He's the only dude in the party I have time for. But if Nandor's back, which party loses a seat? If it's from Labour, then things get very bloody interesting indeed.
On current figures, Winston would be compelled by his pre-election stance to support Labour on confidence and supply. If Nandor gets back in, Labour and National will be tied and NZ First's options expand. Then again, I'm no wiz with the Saint-Legume formula. Some other party could lose a seat and toss things another direction.
Wherever it lands, it will be a horribly compromised minority government that heads into a hard economic landing. The fun is only just beginning.