Town Hall, Auckland

Election 2020: Where the parties are going to party tonight

The focus is Auckland as the party faithful gather to celebrate or drown their sorrows.

Most of the country’s political leadership is in the supercity tonight to watch the results roll in and see who is headed back to parliament. The parties, while smaller than in previous years, will be an unforgettable sight of cheering and chanting in the midst of Covid-19.

Hundreds of smaller parties will be held across the country as candidates of all affiliations watch with friends, family and the curious to see what the voters have decided.

Labour

Auckland Town Hall is once again the home of the Labour Party tonight. The site of some of Jacinda Ardern’s biggest victories, forever etched with scenes from 2017’s Jacindamania, the town hall will speak to Labour’s promise of stability. What’s more stable than a stately old civic building in the centre of Auckland?

After months of lockdowns and the demands of Wellington, the Ardern-Gayford home hasn’t seen much attention in the last while, but Ardern will be awaiting results at her home in Sandringham.

National

The SkyCity convention centre served as the backdrop for Bill English and National in 2017. The party won the most seats that night and blue balloons were tossed around the crowd, but the party eventually headed to the opposition benches. Judith Collins has settled for the much smaller Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron tonight.

The waterfront venue might fit fewer supporters, but it features royal patronage and a great view of the harbour. National might hope to get some good luck from the America’s Cup, which currently lives in the building.

Collins will be waiting for the results at the SkyCity Grand Hotel. Some five-star luxury to see whether the polls are wrong and National can make it back to the prime minister’s office.

Greens

The Greens co-leaders are in central Auckland at the GridAkl in the Wynyard Quarter, just a short swim across a bay from National. An electorate win in either Auckland Central or Tāmaki Makaurau could ensure beyond doubt the Green Party makes it back to parliament, but the party’s top brass will be watching the popular vote in the chic co-working space.

A few hundred Green Party supporters will be there, with an ocean of green-hued clothing and props as the party looks to see whether it could enter government for the first time in its history.

Act

Act might return the best result in the party’s history from a venue called Headquarters on the Viaduct that claims to be “the best site in Auckland”. It isn’t the party’s headquarters, which could lead to some limited confusion.

The association of consumers and taxpayers will be gathered at a venue with a menu resplendent with aged-cuts of meat. Unlike certain other parties, there won’t be any free tofu or kombucha on offer here.

NZ First

Winston Peters’ political career will either come to an end of he’ll confound all critics in the welcoming embrace of Russell. Once again, he’ll be at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel. It’s a classic venue and a fortress of the north with very a solid 4.4 out of 5 rating on Google. Apparently you should “ask for Harry” according to reviews. I have no idea why, but he might be able to pour Winston a good single malt later in the evening.



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