Len Brown has won a second term as Mayor of the Super City but got a bloodied nose in the process.
Brown secured a solid 47.5 per cent of the vote, but the 31.6 per cent of the vote for his right wing opponent John Palino signals real concerns about his management of the city.
Palino, for all his political inexperience and makeshift campaign, did almost as well in percentage terms as the political heavyweight John Banks in 2010.
It was a courageous fight from the political novice, who threw about $150,000 of mostly his own money at an impossible cause.
It also says a lot about the disarray of centre-right politics in Auckland.
At a party celebration in Kingsland, Brown acknowledged the "messaging" that came through in the campaign by stating the first focus of his second term would be setting next year's budget.
This was an admission that soaring debt, hefty rate increases and executive salaries need to be addressed.
Luckily for Brown he has dodged a bullet with the new make-up of the council, which is made to order for his pragmatic streak and canny ability to get the numbers around the table.
Two of the mayor's lieutenants and former Labour MPs Richard Northey and Ann Hartley lost their seats.
Northey fell to the right-leaning Communities & Residents candidate Denise Krum in the Maungakiekie- Tamaki ward, while Hartley was a victim of a lottery in the North Shore ward.
Her seat went to the progressive and energetic Chris Darby.
Conservative Albany did Brown a huge favour by re-electing greenie Wayne Walker and his running mate John Watson. In Waitakere, deputy mayor Penny Hulse got a huge mandate and Linda Cooper as the second ward candidate. As one Brown supporter said, the right-leaning Cooper, who Hulse backed, was preferable to the left wing Christine Rose, who came third.
That's the Auckland Council.
An unusual mix of political allegiances.
One ready made for a second, more financially cautious Brown term.