The results are in and for the most part, National kept hold of their seats across the wider region, but some candidates may not have anticipated just how close their opponents would be.
National MP Todd Muller was victorious, retaining his MP role for the Bay of Plenty electorate on Saturday night with 16,929 votes, but Labour MP Angie Warren-Clark was not far behind with a margin of 3000, sitting on 13,457 votes.
While Muller will enter his third term as MP, Warren-Clark enters her second as a list MP.
In the last election, Muller received 61 per cent of votes and Warren-Clark 27 per cent.
In the past Labour has only nibbled at the wide margin Tauranga MP Simon Bridges has enjoyed for four terms, but on Saturday night the party took a big bite.
With 100 per cent of the vote counted, Bridges has narrowly claimed a fifth term in what was considered a safe blue seat.
His 2017 margin of just above 11,000 votes over Labour's Jan Tinetti has, however, shrunk to 2433 with Bridges securing 16,602 votes against Tinetti's 14,169.
The electorate's party vote was also caught up in the Labour landslide.
National has won more than half the party vote in Tauranga for the past three elections but that majority has swung to Labour, with 41 per cent to National's 33.8 per cent.
National's Scott Simpson has kept the Coromandel seat blue, but Labour's calling it "purple".
The electorate includes Thames, Whitianga and Whangamatā, but extends through Waihī Beach, Katikati and Matakana Island to Whakamārama, just north of Tauranga.
Simpson has held the seat since 2011 and this year's preliminary results give him 19,241 votes of 41,180 cast.
But his winning margin dropped steeply from 14,326 in 2017 to 4206 in 2020.
Labour's Nathaniel Blomfield, who received 15,035 votes, said reducing Simpson's margin by 10,000 votes from the last election put the seat "in striking distance" and it was now "more purple than blue".
However, at 76 on the Labour list, Blomfield won't be brought in as a list MP.
National received more than 50 per cent of the party votes in Coromandel in 2017 but this year Labour won the most with 42.7 per cent, while National took 33.7 per cent.
The hotly contested seat for the Waiariki electorate is being held by Māori Party newcomer Rawiri Waititi, for now - giving the party that was ousted in the previous election a seat back in the House.
Calls were made for a recount as the votes rolled in, at one stage with nothing between them.
But with 100 per cent of the preliminary results counted, Waititi holds 9473 votes while incumbent Labour MP Tamati Coffey sits closely behind with 9058 votes.
Coffey has said he will not concede until the special votes are counted, which last election gave him roughly 400 votes to secure the win from former Māori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell.
Sitting at number 37 on the Labour list, Coffey may still have a seat in Parliament. Labour did, however, hold the majority of the party votes in the electorate with 61.1 per cent of votes and the Māori Party trailing with 17.2 per cent.
In Rotorua, incumbent National MP Todd McClay held tightly on to his seat with only a 1245-vote margin between him and the Labour party's Claire Mahon, who secured 13,038 votes.
While McClay won a fifth term as the MP for Rotorua with 14,283 votes, the electorate party-voted strongly for Labour with 45.8 per cent of votes in their favour, compared to 29.6 per cent for National.
The East Coast electorate has been a National party stronghold and Tania Tapsell, who is a current Rotorua district councillor, was tipped to take it following the resignation of outgoing MP Anne Tolley. But Tapsell was one of the many victims of the massive swing to Labour as the left romped home to take the election.
Tapsell lost considerably by more than 4646 votes. With 100 per cent of the votes counted, she got 13,721 votes compared with Labour's Kiri Allan's 18,367 votes.
Party votes in the electorate paralleled the overall national results, with 49.3 per cent of votes for the Labour Party compared with National's 28.2 per cent.
Allan will be one of the youngest representatives in the Labour party, although sitting at 25 on the list, she would have held a seat in Parliament regardless.
National's Louise Upston has secured a fourth term as Taupō MP - but with a much smaller margin than in 2017.
She won the seat by 14,335 votes in the last election, a 62.9 per cent majority of the 39,140 votes cast, but this year Upston won by just 5254 in preliminary results - with 18,646 of the 37,772 votes cast.
Coming in second, Labour's Ala' Al-Bustanji saw his support swell to 35.45 per cent, with 13,392 votes. But at number 71 on Labour's list, he won't be making it into Parliament.
In the party vote, National lost the majority of the vote in the Taupō electorate in 2020, with just 33.8 per cent, after getting 53.9 per cent in 2017.
Labour took 43.8 per cent this election.
Special declaration votes are still to be counted and were estimated at 17 per cent of the total national votes. This includes an estimated 66,000 overseas and dictation votes.
Preliminary results for the end of life choice and cannabis referendums will be available on October 30.
Official results process
The official results process started yesterday
and is expected to be completed in 20 days.
All advance and election-day votes will be recounted. Special declaration votes will be processed and counted. All referendum votes will be counted.
The target to release the official results of the 2020 general election and referendums is 2pm on November 6.