Election 2023: Helen White 'proud' of election result in Mt Albert despite narrow margin in Labour stronghold

Mt Albert MP Helen White says she is "proud" of her election result despite keeping the historic Labour stronghold with the slimmest of margins.   

On the preliminary results, White has reduced Labour's almost 20,000 vote margin from the last election to just 103.    

Newshub Political Editor Jenna Lynch said on election night that White "should be ashamed of herself" about that result.   

On Tuesday, Newshub asked White whether she was embarrassed about almost losing the Mt Albert seat.   

"No, I'm really, really proud of my result," White responded.   

Newshub followed up by asking how she had done so badly.   

"What a ridiculous question, I didn't do badly. I did really, really well and if you look at the stats you'll see that."   

National won the party vote in the electorate with 32.95 percent while Labour got 27.06 percent.  

But when Newshub asked whether she had lost the party vote, White responded:    

"You've seen that change over time anyway, but we've done really, really well. We've punched above our weight and I'm really proud of my team. And you need to look at the results.   

"Sorry, I've forgotten your name."   

White said there had been "a green split" with the Greens running an aggressive two-tick campaign in the seat and said if the Labour and Greens votes were added together, it wasn't far off the 2020 result.   

"It's not far behind the last time, it's pretty damn good."   

In 2020, Labour won 20,265 party votes while the Green Party won 8311 - combined the left vote was 28,576.   

On the preliminary results from Saturday, Labour won 7651 party votes and the Greens won 6594 party votes - combined votes for the left block totalled 14,245 which is more than 6000 votes short of what Labour alone got in the last election.   

White also said the Mt Albert results were good "when you look at what happened in Auckland".  

On Saturday, Labour lost seven Auckland electorate seats and now only holds six of the 21.   

Mt Albert has been held by Labour since 1946 when it was created and has a long history of being the safe Labour seat held by its leaders - it's previously been held by Jacinda Ardern, David Shearer and Helen Clark who consistently won healthy margins regardless of whether Labour won or lost the election. It was also the seat of the first Labour prime minister, Michael Joseph Savage.   

Labour margins in Mt Albert

2023: Labour margin: 106 (White)   

2020: Labour margin: 21,246 (Ardern)   

2017: Labour margin: 15,264 (Ardern) 

2017 by-election: Labour margin: 8931 (Ardern)   

2014: Labour Margin: 10,656 (Shearer)   

2011: Labour margin: 10,021 (Shearer)   

2009 (by-election): Labour margin: 9718 (Shearer)   

2008: Labour margin: 10,351 (Clark)   

2005: Labour margin: 14,749 (Clark)   

2002: Labour margin: 16,024 (Clark)   

1999: Labour majority: 13,108 (Clark)   

1996: Labour majority: 5980 (Clark)