Aside from John Key, there were other winners last night - the pollsters.
New Zealand's election result was close to the final poll results from five organisations that predicted National would score in the mid-to-late forties and Labour in the early-to-mid-thirties.
The final Herald Digi-poll put National on 47.9 per cent with Labour on 36.4. Election results from last night saw National score 45 per cent while Labour hit 34 per cent.
Other polls were also close to the result. The final poll from Roy Morgan had Labour on 34.5 while National scored 42 per cent.
The last Fairfax Nielson poll had National on 49 per cent and Labour on 31.
Victoria University of Wellington political science lecturer Stephen Levine said the pollsters were being proven correct last night.
Speaking to nzherald.co.nz as the results came in, Dr Levine said the pollsters had generally got it right.
"Polling organisations get a lot of criticism when they're wrong and there is a lot of variation in the polls but the big picture of all the polls is being reflected on the night so far," Dr Levine said.
He said one interesting result was New Zealand First polling over four per cent.
"I'm not sure the polls were having New Zealand First over four per cent," Dr Levine said.
And he was right. The Fairfax-Nielsen poll had New Zealand First on three per cent while One News-Colmar Brunton scored Mr Peter's party on 2.4 per cent.
The Greens were the other party whose polling results differed from the ballot box count.
The November Roy Morgan poll had the Greens on as much as 10 per cent while others including the Three News TNS and One News-Colmar Brunton had them on nine per cent.
However, the disparities largely disappear when the margin of error is taken into account.
Final Herald Digi-Poll
National: 47.9 per cent
Labour: 36.4 per cent
Green Party: 5.8 per cent
New Zealand First: 3.9 per cent
ACT: 1.8 per cent
United Future: 0.7 per cent
Progressive: 0.2 per cent
- NZHERALD STAFF