Labour candidate David Parker has refused to say if he will back Phil Goff staying on as leader after the election, but said he will not be demanding his resignation and was "bloody proud" of Mr Goff for the campaign he had run.
Mr Parker is among those waiting at Labour's campaign night headquarters in Mt Roskill and is a contender as the next Labour leader.
Asked if he would support Mr Goff staying on as leader next week, he said he did not want to address that tonight.
"Tonight's not the night for that. I want to reflect on what's happened and I want to give Phil the dignity he deserves."
He said it was up to Mr Goff whether he resigned or not "but I certainly won't be demanding it."
Although Mr Goff had campaigned hard personally, the support on the ground from other candidates and the Labour team was not as large as usual. Mr Parker said he had not noticed that and did not believe the party had let Mr Goff down.
"We've been bloody proud of him and really supportive of him. All of the colleagues I have spoken to are proud of the campaign we have run, they think Phil has done better than anyone else could have done for us and he can hold his head high."
Mr Parker said he did not believe the night would be a "rout."
"I call a rout what happened in 2002, when National got 21 per cent in the polls and Act got about 6.
I think we'll get high 20s by the end of the night, the Greens will get about ten and it looks like NZ First will get maybe 6 or 7, which means there's a total vote in Opposition to the Government of between 40 and 45 per cent, which I don't think is a rout."
He said the minor parties had clearly risen at Labour's expense.
"People haven't yet come home to Labour. They will eventually."
He did not believe it was down to the policies Labour had fronted.
"If we had not taken forward a brave policy platform in this election, we would have been treated by the electorate like National was in 2002. The fact we've held up reasonably well given how popular the Prime Minister is testament to a pretty good campaign that Phil Goff has run."
Asked whether Labour should be losing seats like Christchurch Central and Waimakariri, he said Labour was also possibly picking up some seats, including Waitakere, West Coast Tasman.
"There's always an ebb and flow in some seats but there doesn't appear to be trend there."
He said Palmerston North was going to be close and although Waimakariri looked as if it could go to National, Clayton Cosgrove had bucked the trend of changing demographics and the party vote previously, "which is amazing, but it looks like it's caught up with him."
He did not know how much the Christchurch earthquake had to do with the changes.