Election 2023: National's blue wave leaves devastation across Labour strongholds

Twenty-seven electorates have flipped compared to the 2020 election - most of them from Labour to National but some surprises from ACT and the Greens too. 

Some of them were safe Labour seats and there could be more upsets to come with some pretty tight races that'll be decided by special votes. 

It was a super-sweet 31st celebration for Brooke van Velden on Sunday. She sliced her cake after slicing National's stronghold on Auckland's Tamaki electorate.

"I feel really humbled to serve the people of Tamaki. But also, this hasn't been my campaign, it's been everyone's campaign," she said.

Her win puts an end to National MP Simon O'Connor's 12-year political career.

"That is a loss and I know he'll be feeling it today. But he ran a good race and did the best he could," said National leader Christopher Luxon. 

But no loss compared to Labour's. It surrendered a swathe of seats, including Napier and Tukituki to the Nats.

"We really turned The Bay blue," said incoming Tukituki MP Catherine Wedd.

"I've got a lot of work to do but I'm excited to crack on and look forward to working with Napier and everybody else who wants to get things back on track," said Napier's new MP Katie Nimon.

Labour's losses to National also include its fortresses like Mt Roskill, New Lynn, Hutt South, and West Coast - Tasman. And in the capital, Labour lost its strongholds Rongotai and Wellington Central to the Greens. 

"A real sign that people want a wealth tax, they want bold climate action. They want these legacy parties like Labour to be more progressive," said the Greens' incoming MP for Wellington Central Tamatha Paul.

While there's a message for the new Green MP for Rongotai from National.

"Here's something that's happening in Julie Anne Genter's new seat. We're building a second Mt Vic tunnel right through into it," said National's Chris Bishop.

Wairarapa flipped too, with Labour's incumbent Kieran McAnulty conceding in person to National's Mike Butterick.

And there could be more - with a number of very close results.

Just 30 votes separate National and Labour in Te Atatu, while in Nelson, the Nats are ahead by just 54 votes. Banks Peninsula flipped and National's ahead by 83, and Labour's leading Mt Albert - one of its safest seats, home to Jacinda Ardern, Helen Clark and Michael Joseph Savage - by just 106. 

"We've been doing the work. We've knocked on tens of thousands of doors," said Luxon.

He might yet knock over some more Labour seats when special votes come in.