Election night 2020: All the misery, all the tumescent joy

A long election campaign finally ended in one five-hour period on Saturday, October 17. José Barbosa was there. This is what he saw.

I forgot how covering an election is a lot of fun. My last working election was well over a decade ago, and there’s always this breathlessness that accompanies the proceedings. It’s perfect theatre, of course, as everything is up for interpretation, everything means something: changes in venue (National is now in the boating club!); articles of clothing (Jacinda’s wearing something similar to modest wear designed for Muslim women!); choice of words (Simon Bridges is gunning for the top job again!).

Because so many of us wanted the election to be over sooner, bloody tons of us voted before the actual day. The result being that the coverage on the night wasn’t an improvised jazz number of voting numbers lurching ahead in spits and spurts, but rather a Shepard tone of increasing certainty: Labour took everything and it stayed that way.

It was immediately labelled, in a somewhat menstrual fashion,  “the red tide” or a “tsunami”. Whatever it was, it’s over now and we can presumably get on with our lives. But not before watching this short video breakdown of the night.




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