Thank you, to my team, and to my family, and to people who’ve supported me, and to people who hollered encouraging words out of their car windows, and to people who voted for me.
I think the results from Rangitīkei are creditable: nothing flash, but perfectly respectable given the history of the electorate. Back when I wrote my campaign plan, I noticed that the party vote for Labour in Rangitīkei always trails the overall party vote for Labour by about 7%: if Labour polls at 30%, then Rangitīkei polls at 23%. Last night, Labour got 25% of the party vote, and in Rangitīkei, we got 18% of the party vote. So the party vote result in Rangitīkei is about what we’d expect it to be.
The vote for me as a candidate is not too bad at all – 27% on election night, in a blue electorate. This is the first time I’ve run for public office at all, and I’ve never even worked on a campaign before (I joined the party after the last election) so I’m completely new at this. I know that I did some things right on the campaign trail, but there are other things that I would like to do much better next time around. I think I’ll be able to do that.
I am so grateful to my team. Three core people, Elayne, Ian and Karen, did a huge amount of work. They got critical tasks done, and they gave me so much emotional support. Other people who worked hard too: Heather and Pam and Wayne and Colin. Thank you.
So many other people chipped in, Bob and Jim and Adam on hoardings, Debbie in Bulls doing so many leaflets, Jessica in Marton, Ray and Lynne in Feilding, Mark Patrick in Feilding and in Taihape, Jill and Karl and Dianne in Summerhill, with some help from Larraine too. Karen’s parents in Summerhill: talk about roping everyone in to help. Other people hosted hoardings, or came along to meetings, or helped with the big red bus. Debbie and Stephanie and Olive and Elayne and Pam spent all election day working the phones. People from Palmerston North helped with a couple of intensive days of leaflet delivery.
Rayden in Taumarunui turned out to be an absolute champion on the megaphone. He and I had a great day there, doing street corner meetings in the rain. Rose and her mum Angie and her sister Aria were brilliant! Rose came in through the main party volunteer page, and within hours of me contacting her, she was onto leafletting all about the electorate, and her mum and her little sister got thoroughly involved too. They are tremendous people.
Other friends chipped in with donations for the campaign. That was marvellous. I needed the money, and it was so good to know that people support me, and believe in me. Another friend brought meals to our house, and had our daughters over to stay when we needed to be out of town for the night. Lisa, thank you. Tangible, practical support.
Sometimes it was the little things that helped. Thank you to everyone who sent me txt messages and e-mail messages, and called me to wish me well, or commented on my Facebook posts, and clicked “like” and reminded me that I have a whole network of people who care. All those messages helped. Especially the messages from family members who usually vote the other way.
Family and friends put me up, or put up with me, in Raetihi and Taumarunui. Thank you to my beautiful and much admired cousin Leonie, and my friend Anna. That friendship is quite special: Anna was my student a few years ago, and I liked her very much. When I was selected, I wanted to contact her, but I knew I couldn’t, because I had been the lecturer and she had been the student. But as soon as an article about me ran in her local paper, she contacted me, and from there our friendship has grown.
And my lovely family – my husband, and our beautiful daughters, who came campaigning with me. My mum and dad came and stayed for the last week of the campaign: my dad drove me everywhere and even though he supports a different party, he held signs for me at street corner meetings. Mum cooked meals, and ferried the girls about, and put the washing through, and kept our home functioning in that last frantic week.
Over in Palmerston North, Iain Lees-Galloway MP and his team were so very helpful and supportive. They shared their knowledge freely, they patted my shoulder, they came and helped out when it was clear that our small team needed a few hours help from a bigger team.
We had a great time working with Adrian Rurawhe and his team. I admire Adrian, and his sisters Christine and Gaylene so much. And they’re great fun! Some of our best days on the campaign trail were the days we spent with them. I’m so pleased that Adrian has won his seat, and will be one of our new MPs in this coming term.
A final thank you, to Ian McKelvie (Nat), Rom Rudski (NZF), Roy Brown (Conservative), and Neil Wilson (ACT). It was fun.
Thank you, everyone.
I’m taking a few days off, and then I’m going to start working on plans for helping the party in Rangitīkei to grow, and on the 2017 campaign.