Greens' poll proved false as Nick Smith romps home in Nelson

  • 24/09/2017
Nick Smith.
Nick Smith. Photo credit: Getty

Nick Smith has held on to his Nelson seat again, despite the Green Party talking up their chances of stealing it.

As of Saturday night, Dr Smith held a 4010-vote lead over Labour's Rachel Boyack.

It's less than the 7605-vote margin he beat Labour's Maryan Street by in 2014, but still healthy enough for him to nail down the seat he has held since 1996.

The Greens put up city councillor and former journalist Matt Lawrey.

During the campaign, their own telephone poll put Mr Lawrey 6 percent behind Dr Smith, and claimed the incumbent's support was sliding and the Green tide was rising.

But Mr Lawrey could only muster just over 8000 votes, more than 6000 behind Dr Smith and 2600 behind Labour's Ms Boyack.

"The Greens have well and truly over-talked their game," Dr Smith told TVNZ.

"Actually, their party vote has halved here in Nelson. Nelson is an area that is very dependent on core industries, fishing forestry, horticulture and all those things.

"Nelson is a seat that was never going to buy into the anti-growth agenda that the Greens were proposing."

Newshub political editor Patrick Gower called it, labelling the Greens' poll "fake news".

Dr Smith is correct to say the Green party vote halved - it went from 14.1 percent in 2014 to 6.9 percent as of Friday night, with special votes still to be counted.

Dr Smith rejected any talk of him retiring and said he was energised to tackle Nelson issues.

"I've still got a few more miles in me."

His vote did slip, but only by a little. In 2014 he won 16,904 votes - about 2000 more than in 2017.

NZN / Newshub.