7:45 pm. Just arrived at Back Benches. Quarter hour before filming starts, emergency red wine and cigarette in the smoking lounge. The Sports Bar has been closed off for the Nat's Wellington Central party.
4 percent of the result counted. NZ First at scary 6-7 percent, Greens at reasonable 10 percent (I'm betting they'll get 15 percent). Labour nearing National's 2002 election result with a not unsurprising 27 percent. National hovering on 50 percent. Once the expected overhangs are accounted for, it looks like Key won't get his natural majority.
UPDATE: 10:15pm. A lot can happen in a couple of hours. Now ensconced at the Green Party's campaign party at San Francisco Bath House. The place is packed with supporters, even though their vote seems to have levelled off at ten percent, a few short of where I expected them to be.
NZ First still sitting on an unbelievable 6.8 percent, the damage done by John Key's failed tea date has led to a resurgent NZ First and 8 possible MPs. Act is toast, with only John Banks holding Epsom and a slim party vote ensuring he will be their only MP. Dunne looks like keeping Ohariu, albeit with a reduced majority.
It looks like Clayton Cosgrove has lost the Waimakariri seat to Kate Wilkinson, while Kris Faafoi holds his seat against Hekia Parata in Mana. Christchurch Central will probably be so narrow as to go down to Special Votes between Brendon Burns and Nicky Wagner.
Ian Lees-Galloway and Chris Hipkins are shoo-ins for Palmerston North and Rimutaka respectively. National couldn't dent them there.