Hamilton West by-election: National's Tama Potaka cruises to victory over Labour's Georgie Dansey


National candidate Tama Potaka is heading to Wellington as the new MP for Hamilton West after winning today's by-election.

With 97.1 percent of the vote counted, Potaka has 6433 votes, with Labour's Georgie Dansey trailing with 4230 votes - a margin of 2203 votes.

Dansey has now conceded in person to Potaka.

ACT Party candidate James McDowall was well behind with 1420 votes, while Labour MP Gaurav Sharma, whose resignation triggered the by-election, had 1136 votes.

Polling booths opened this morning at 9am, and closed at 7pm.

Sharma, the winning candidate in the 2020 election, captured a 53 percent majority of the 39,034 valid electorate votes. The number of votes in today's by-election is tracking to be half of those cast in 2020.

Twelve candidates have been vying for the seat, but the by-election has been considered a two-horse race between the two main parties.

The by-election was triggered by the October resignation of Labour MP Gaurav Sharma.

Twenty voting places were operating across the electorate today.