'Pretty stoked' with 46 percent - Paula Bennett

  • 24/09/2017

National deputy leader Paula Bennett says she is "just pretty stoked" with the support the party has gained in the General Election.

With almost 90 percent of the ballots counted, National had received 46.2 percent of the popular vote and were projected to win 58 seats.

With ally ACT's one seat, that would take them two short of the 61 needed to be certain of a fourth consecutive term of Government. But Ms Bennett was delighted with the backing the party and leader Bill English had garnered.

"I'm just pretty stoked at the moment with the level of support that we've got today and it's pretty outstanding really," she said.

"This is outstanding support for National and for Bill English and he should be celebrating those sort of numbers tonight."

She said negotiations to form a new Government was something Mr English and the senior team will work their way through.

National's result wasn't far off the last Newshub-Reid Research poll, which had the party at 45.8 percent. It also was very close for NZ First, predicting 7.1 - Winston Peters' party got 7.5 on the night.

Ms Bennett was speaking at the SkyCity Convention Centre, where 1600 of the party faithful had gathered.

Mr English was originally due to arrive at 9pm to address the crowd but campaign manager Steven Joyce said earlier in the evening that the incumbent Prime Minister would delay his arrival until the result become clearer.

The supporters had begun gathering at 7pm and they they were in lively mood as the night wore on.

There was a huge cheer when the party temporarily got to a projected 59 seats.

There was another when Chris Bishop looked set to take Hutt South, previously held by veteran Trevor Mallard, who has moved to the Labour list.

NZN / Newshub.