It was a blue blitzkrieg, a resounding victory - Prime Minister John Key and National defying political gravity.

That is not just the political gravity of a tough campaign, but also the political gravity of a third-term government becoming more popular.

Key had everything thrown at him but managed to come back stronger.

National can take some vindication that issues like Dirty Politics and the Internet Party's "Moment of Truth" were distractions.


Little wonder Key and his strategists were thanking internet Party founder Kim Dotcom for a last-minute boost in the polls, saying his attacks galvanised their support, particularly in the last week.

Even though there was discussion to include Winston Peters and his New Zealand First in the increased majority, Key last night ruled him out, sticking with tried and true coalition partners Act, United Future and the Maori Party.

For the left it was a bloodbath.

Labour's party vote collapsed and the Greens also failed to fire.

The Greens now need a major rethink. Trapped on the left of Labour, they struggled to make themselves relevant during the campaign.

They were prisoners to Labour's failure. They simply couldn't get air time and their advertising campaign missed the mark.

Labour leader David Cunliffe performed well in the campaign but the result was appalling.

And his vow to stay on as leader means the party will return to internal division as it is forced to resolve its leadership issue.


Loss of key people such as Andrew Little will make Labour's job all the harder.

Expect a left-right battle within Labour and a blame game to follow.

There are bound to be significant leadership ructions.

Labour needs a complete rethink. Its problems extend well beyond who is the public face and into its tactics, key people and core policy. Add to that Hone Harawira's loss in Te Tai Tokerau, and therefore Internet-Mana's failure, and the left has suffered a painful triple whammy.

Colin Craig didn't make it either with the Conservatives, another sign of National galvanising its voters who listened to Key's plea not to vote tactically and give their party vote to the Conservatives.

So Key is back big-time - and he still has plenty of problems to deal with. But getting a majority isn't one of them.

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