Dan Bidois stays on message after Northcote win

Northcote and the country have a new MP: National's Dan Bidois. He won Saturday's by-election convincingly, maintaining his party's share of the vote.

But after two months of fierce campaigning - and being petrified of losing to Labour - it's now action stations.

Simon Bridges will be seriously relieved - a loss would have reflected very, very badly on his leadership, and on campaign manager Paula Bennett.

"Paula's kept me in line, kept me on message," says Mr Bidois.

Perhaps a little too much on message - he reiterated how "humbled" he was by the result, and wouldn't even go off script to explain what he's going to do for his voters, instead just repeating that he's "a fighter".

Despite losing, Labour is hailing the result a victory of sorts.

National's majority - 1362 votes - was significantly reduced from 6210 votes at the last election, but that's because Labour took votes from the Greens and New Zealand First.

National didn't lose any votes, not even with Jacinda Ardern sprinkling stardust for Labour throughout the campaign.

"I'm really proud of our PM and she does bring glitter to our community," said the defeated Shanan Halbert.

He had other less glittering endorsements too - Once Were Warriors author Alan Duff lost his cool and threatened a Spinoff reporter soon after throwing his support behind Labour.

"I don't have a violent bone in my body so those sorts of threats are disappointing," says Mr Halbert.

Labour's spinning numbers hard in its favour, but National holding onto its majority makes this a convincing win for the blue team.

That said, Northcote voters will want to keep an eye on Mr Bidois' achievements, making sure their fighter is actually winning scraps - not just rehearsing and repeating lines.


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