Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Greens take Wellington

In a dramatic neck and neck finish Green Party councillor Celia Wade-Brown has won the Mayoralty of Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.

On Friday night at close of counting there was just 40 votes between her and incumbent right wing Mayor, Kerry Prendergast, with Prendergast in front. Counting was then suspended while the 'special votes' came in (votes from embassies, delayed postal votes and others).

The final vote today, Wednesday, was 24,881 to Celia and 24,705 to Kerry.

This comes on top of an already good set of results in the local elections across New Zealand for the left and for the Greens, although it's beyond me to do the number crunching because candidates don't use party descriptions, making a proper analysis the preserve of those with a far more in depth knowledge of local politics than I have.

Prendergast was running for her fourth term as Mayor and had a generally good reputation, which made her a tough opponent to beat. In Celia's victory speech she described her success as "the ongoing evolution of Wellingtonians' existing commitment to a resilient, cosmopolitan and beautiful city, a continuation of some trends to a cleaner ocean, renewable energy and protected biodiversity, and definitely a city where there are quality jobs and worthwhile businesses."

The broad based campaign which focused on transport, technology and communities drew in activists and organisers well beyond the Green Party itself. She also said that her election showed "the Greens can be a credible force in governing communities".

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