Emily Henderson is pinning her hopes on the special votes to pip incumbent Dr Shane Reti in the Whangārei electorate and is warming up to the possibility of having both of them in Parliament.
It's a scenario Henderson, who led the incumbent for the most part during the vote count on Saturday evening, is well aware of and is in favour of two MPs advocating for issues that matter to people.
She came up 162 votes short, polling 15,475 to Dr Reti's 15,637 while Act's David Seymour came a distant third with just 1828 votes.
The Whangārei lawyer feels having performed this well in a true-blue National seat was tantamount to a victory.
"Obviously the special votes are yet to come and I understand that there's maybe 1500 and they tend to go a little left so you know, there's a chance.
"Shane and I will be a massive win for Whangārei. We tried to say this to people during the campaign the possibility is you'll have two people fighting for your town. Of course I can work with him.
"I am a Family Court lawyer, I can work with anyone and Shane is a straightforward, nice person and I am sure we'll have no problem working together if that's what it comes to. I think it would actually be really constructive," said the mother-of-four.
However, Henderson challenged Dr Reti to throw more energy behind Whangārei because people deserved better representation.
"I really hope that he keeps a eye on our home town and if he doesn't, I am watching, and I am waiting, and I will be back. This is my home town and I am absolutely determined to see us raised."
On what she thought swung more votes towards Labour in Whangārei, Henderson said people warmed up to the idea of compassionate rather than confrontational politics led by Jacinda Ardern.
The days of confrontational politics practised by National leader Judith Collins and Gerry Brownlee, who lost his long-held Ilam seat, has passed, she said.
"A man came up to me a few days before the election and said to me 'I've always been blue but I watched Jacinda and what we need, Judith is wrong for this time, we need a compassionate leader through this time' so I think there's been a big swing of blue to red."
Shane Jones was a loss, she believes, but in some ways she is pleased New Zealand First's exit from Parliament has freed up Labour to raise the living standard of Kiwis.
In terms of the next three years, she said people could fully expect to see her on their streets and in businesses whether or not she became an MP.
Whangārei mayor Sheryl Mai said having both Dr Reti and Henderson as MPs would bode well for the district.
"Shane has been a great MP for Whangārei and he must be feeling nervous right now but potentially we could get a strong voice at the end of the table in Parliament, otherwise Emily will continue to fight for Whangārei."
Mai said it was more likely Dr Reti would hold on to the seat but whichever way the final result swayed, Whangārei would still have a strong representation.
Henderson, she thought, campaigned very well and rode the political wave towards Labour this election.
Northland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stephen Smith said apolitical factors such as the Government's response to Covid and the Christchurch shootings worked in Labour's favour.
"A few degrees to the left or centre... it doesn't take much to swing the momentum in Labour's favour. The party's track record on policy delivery hasn't been particularly good and the change in allegiance has been from people who aren't really political thinkers," Smith said.
There was nervousness among the business community in Northland with a Labour win, he said, and hoped the incoming Government showed an appropriate level of support to help the "engine room" of New Zealand.