Election night has left a clear result across the country, with a red tide seeing Labour sweep back into power with a massive win, with 49 per cent of the vote guaranteeing the party enough seats to govern alone.
But in the North two of the three electorates have been left with uncertainty, with the vote too close to declare a winner on the night in the Northland and Whangārei electorates.
As well, NZ First is out of Parliament after it's Northland candidate Shane Jones came a distant third and the party failed to get the 5 per cent of the party vote it then needed.
In Whangārei incumbent National party MP Dr Shane Reti won on the night over Labour's Emily Henderson with 15,637, votes, compared to the first-time candidate's 15,475. It's a 162 vote lead, but he said that was far too close to claim victory.
And in Northland, incumbent National MP Matt King was similarly unwilling to claim victory, despite winning the vote on the night.
King won 15,332 votes on the night, 742 ahead of Willow-Jean Prime's 14,590.
In the Te Tai Tokerau Electorate though it was a clear win to incumbent Labour MP and party Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis, who won 11,594 votes - 6601 ahead of the
Māori Party's Mariameno Kapa-Kingi on 4,993 votes.
Reti said with special votes still to be counted — and he said his scrutinisers at Whangārei voting places had noticed a lot of special votes being cast today, and far more than normal.
Traditionally special votes favour the left so he wasn't prepared to claim the win.
As well, he said, with the race so close there was always the possibly of a recount of the votes.
Reti said it is obvious there's been a big swing to Labour and he felt for his colleagues who have lost their seats elsewhere in the country.
He said the party had lost some very experienced and hard working MPS, like Nick Smith, who lost his Nelson seat to Labour.
Reti said the party was overcome with the Labour surge on the back of the coronavirus epidemic.
''It's hard when the Government has the talking stick at 1pm every day (on the Covid-19 daily updates). Covid has take all the oxygen out of campaign...and we have been caught up in that (Labour) surge across the country.''
Labour candidate Emily Henderson said she had "no idea" when asked if would ask for a recount if the final result was close.
"I am still in absolute awe that we've got this close, that Whangārei has supported us like this so I don't know at this stage. It will depend how close it is."
On what she regarded as "close", she replied: "How long is a piece of string?"
The Whangārei lawyer was leading Dr Reti until about 75 percent of the votes were counted before the latter surged ahead.
Henderson said she was "in shock" being neck-to-neck with Dr Reti in a true-blue seat National has held for decades.
Whangārei was first created for the 1972 election when Murray Smith won it for Labour.
It's been held by National ever since.
Reti won the seat in the 2017 election by 10,967 votes over Labour candidate Tony Savage.
National's Northland electorate candidate Matt King wasn't ready to tell his supporters he'd won the seat when they headed home from the Pioneer Tavern just after 11pm.
With a margin of less than 1000 and almost 20 per cent of polling booths, not to mention special votes, yet to be counted, it would be premature to declare victory, he said.
Because of the delay in counting special votes it could be another two weeks before he was sure he had won, he said.
"I'm just hanging on," he said.
"I'm disappointed so much support has gone to Labour on the back of Covid-19. It wasn't based on performance, it was based on fear. I feel sorry for my colleagues, we're going to lose a lot of talent and I'm going to lose a lot of friends."
Labour's Northland Willow-Jean Prime was feeling pretty relaxed despite trailing King .
She said she has set herself a three-term challenge to turn the seat to Labour and had been slogging away for three years.
On NZ First's exit from Parliament, Prime said it was worth recognising the contribution of that party particularly the Provincial Growth Fund's emphasis on infrastructure projects in Northland.
But she said NZ First's demise showed that politics was a brutal game in that people that played it could be popular MPs one minute and out of Parliament the next.
Speaking from Labour HQ in Auckland, Davis said he was "very humbled that people in the
Tai Tokerau electorate have asked me to represent them for another three years.
"I owe them a debt of gratitude," he said.
"I'd like to thank them very much. I've got to keep going out and winning their confidence. We've made some big gains in the first term of government. It's about maintaining that."
Davis congratulated Kapa-Kingi on her campaign.
"She's a wonderful woman and I'd like to congratulate her and thank her for the very good campaign she ran. It's the first time I've run a campaign where I haven't been bombarded with negative comments."
Kapa-Kingi conceded with good humour.
Kapa-Kingi - who whakapapas to Te Aupōuri and Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa and is ranked number 6 on the Maori Party list - said she was "excited and encouraged" with the number of votes she gained.
ELECTION NIGHT RESULTS:
Shane Reti - National: 15,637 votes.
Emily Henderson Labour: 15,475.
David Seymour - Act: 1828.
David Wilson - NZ First: 1319.
Moea Armstrong - Greens: 1248.
Ciara Swords - TOP: 592.
Chris Wetere - Advance NZ: 522.
Kerry Campbell - New Conservatives: 470.Jennifer de Jonge - ALCP: 410.
Chris Leitch - Social Credit : 320.
Daniel Watts - ONE Party: 242.
Matt King - National: 15,332 votes.
Willow-Jean Prime - Labour: 14,590.
Shane Jones - NZ First: 4543.
Darleen Tana Hoff-Nielsen - Greens: 1301.
Mark Cameron - Act: 1104.
Nathan Mitchell - Advance NZ: 682.
Trevor Barefoote - New Conservatives: 599.
Mike Shaw - Independent: 409.
Helen Jeremiah - TOP: 254.
Michelle Mitcalfe - NZ Outdoors: 167.
Brad Flutey - Social Credit: 73.
Sophia Xiao-Colley - Harmony: 25.
Te Tai Tokerau:
Kelvin Davis - Labour: 11,594.
Mariameno Kapa-Kingi -
Māori Party. 4,993.
Maki Herbert - ALCP: 1388.
Billy Te Kahika - Advance NZ: 976.
Janice Araranga-Ephia - ONE Party: 321.
Daniel Shortland - New Conservatives: 217.
Clinton Dearlove - Independent: 216.
Moemoea Mohoawhenua - Independent: 81.