Labour's Ben Sandford says his team ran the best campaign they could, despite not winning the Rotorua seat.

Sandford, who lost to incumbent MP Todd McClay, was the only nominee for Labour's candidacy last December.

He received 9114 votes to McClay's 16,544.

Sandford told the Rotorua Daily Post yesterday he would be sitting down with his team to look at what they had done and how they had run the campaign.


"We ran the best campaign that we could.

"In reflection there's always things that could have been done differently, or better."

When asked if he would run again he said it was likely, though he would need to talk it over with his team, his friends and family.

Labour volunteer Ryan Gray said it would be great to see him run again.

"Obviously Sandford's result is disappointing, he ran a respectful, positive campaign where he brought solutions to issues Rotorua is facing.

"Perhaps if the voters had a bit more time to get to know him, they'd see what a fantastic representative the Rotorua born and bred Ben could be for them."

Sandford thanked everyone for their support.

"I've met a lot of amazing people in our community and it's been an absolute honour to represent Labour."

He said the Labour campaign had been fascinating.

"It was really interesting to see the result as it came out.

"I really thought Labour would be higher up and I will be watching what happens in the coming weeks."

On Saturday night he rang McClay just after 10pm to congratulate him on the victory and to concede.

He said McClay congratulated him on a fair and well-fought campaign.

In a speech following his concession he told his supporters it had been an incredible and fascinating journey.

"I think Tamati will make a fantastic MP and I look forward to carrying on with Labour."