English easily retains Clutha-Southland


INCUMBENT MP Bill English told Queenstown supporters they can expect more “considered and consistent” change after his election victory.
The National Party member retained his Clutha-Southland seat as expected last night with a large majority.
English, who is also Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, received 19,726 of the votes cast.
His nearest challenger, Labour’s Tat Loo, received 4,811.
The victory capped a stunning night for National as it cemented its hold on government, winning 60 of the 121 parliamentary seats.
Prime Minister John Key will now lead the country for another three years, after Labour admitted defeat.
English thanked his jubilant supporters at his election party in Jack’s Point, Queenstown.
“You have all helped to ensure strong stable government in New Zealand and that’s what is really going to matter.”
English said that despite facing tough economic times, an earthquake and other disasters, National had increased its share of the vote.
“I had a chat to the Prime Minster a bit earlier and I have to say the result of the election is better than we expected.
“So it shouldn’t be too difficult a task to put together a government. Not a bad effort at all.”
English said supporters could expect more of the same.
“I won’t bore you with a whole lot of policy tonight, but I think it is the style that will continue and that is pretty considered and consistent change over time, taking the public with us and explaining things as much as possible.”
In all, 29,365 votes were cast in the constituency with English taking 66 per cent. The Green Party’s Rachael Goldsmith was third with 2,315.
Act’s Don Nicolson received 748; Conservative Party member Ross Calverley received 744; Robert Mills, New Zealand Democrats for Social Credit, 128; and Ton Corbett, of New Zealand Sovereignty received 120.
National also received 18,427 of the party votes cast, 63 per cent of the total.
English also thanked his wife Mary and his six children for being “very supportive and extremely tolerant” in what was his seventh election.
Over the last three years, he said he’d had learnt “just how resilient” New Zealanders actually are and said there was “less complaining than he could ever remember” despite difficult times.