Clark ‘chuffed’ at party vote rise

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Dunedin North MP David Clark said he was “really chuffed” with the outcome of the election, “particularly locally”.

During his campaign, he targeted the party vote for Labour, resulting in a “good lift” in Dunedin North.

In the electorate, Labour got 14,825 (47.7%) of the party votes while National got 8743 (28.2%).

“National will be smarting about their local result. It’s one of the worst in the country and they will have to find their own reasons [about] why.”

He received nearly 10,000 votes more than his nearest rival, National list MP Michael Woodhouse.

“Getting the party vote was the most exciting thing. Having the personal majority to grow, to maybe more than 10,000 [votes], when the special votes are counted, is very affirming.”

He put the win down to his representation on local issues, such as the Dunedin Hospital rebuild, regional neglect, the environment and mental health.

He pledged to continue to work to get Dunedin Hospital rebuilt.

“Dunedin is the only major centre in New Zealand not to have its hospital rebuilt – it’s our turn – and we have service failure already. This is not an issue that needs to be solved one day, it’s an issue that needs to be solved right away and that involves central Government having the political will and political resourcing to solve it.”

The election result was “up in the air” as party leaders enter coalition negotiations but he hoped the parties wanting a change of government would reach an agreement.

The momentum built in the campaign “looks to be unstoppable” and people in Dunedin regularly approached him to ask how to become a “committed activist”.

“People are excited to be aligned with the Labour Party and I would say the next election will be bigger again regardless of how this one pans out.”