Prime Minister John Key said on Saturday that he was delighted with the Mana byelection result.
Although Labour’s inexperienced candidate got over 1000 more votes than the National candidate, MP Hekia Parata, Mr Key said it was still a victory to National.
“We never expected to win this,” said Mr Key. “So to pull this off is truly astounding. Hekia ran a wonderful campaign.”
Mr Key compared the result with other recent victories by National.
“This reminds me of our 2005 General Election victory. And last year’s Mt Albert byelection, where we crushed David Shearer.
“And let’s not forget how well the centre-right did in the recent local body elections. This is a historic event.”
Mr Key was referring to the fact that no sitting government has ever won a byelection by taking an opposition-held seat.
History also shows that until now no sitting government has ever made such an effort to disguise the defeat of a local MP by an unknown, by in fact claiming some sort of victory.
In Dublin this weekend the Irish rugby team celebrated a rare win against the All Blacks.
Irish coach Declan Kidney claimed victory for Ireland in Saturday’s test, after pointing out that the previous test the two teams played in 2010 resulted in a 38 point margin to New Zealand.
The margin on Saturday was only 30 points.
The victory over New Zealand was one of many moral victories inflicted against the New Zealand team by the Irish lately.
In 2008 The All Blacks had a moral loss to the Irish in Wellington, winning 21-11. And later that year the Irish stunned them by losing 22-3.
It is not yet known whether the International Rugby Board will endorse Ireland’s moral victories.
Meanwhile, last night, the English netball team were also in celebratory mood, after winning a close game against New Zealand in the fastnet netball competition in Liverpool this morning.
Beaten 28-26 on the scoreboard, the international-stacked England team were thrilled to morally defeat a junior New Zealand team.
“We pushed them all the way,” said an elated English captain Karen Atkinson. “The scoreboard doesn’t reflect the effort we put in. This is one of the best moral victories of my career.”