Tim Macindoe will head to Wellington over the next few days to clean out his parliamentary office.
Tim Macindoe always wanted to leave politics on his own terms, but knew he’d have to defy history to do so.
Only two hours after polling closed on Saturday, Macindoe briefly abandoned his election night party to visit his Labour rival and concede defeat in Hamilton West.
Preliminary results have Macindoe on 12,525 votes, well behind Labour’s Gaurav Sharma on 16,950.
Judith Collins speaks to the media the day after her failed election campaign.
After four terms in Parliament, the 59-year-old said he’s unsure what his next career move will be.
* National MPs concede defeat as Labour sweeps Hamilton
* Election 2020: How Hamilton West will be won
* Election 2020: Why Hamilton West’s vote is so important
“I hope I can continue to serve this city but, right now, I can’t tell you what my new role could be. I certainly have a heart for service.”
Macindoe arrived at Sharma’s election night party about 9.15pm to offer his congratulations. He was joined by National’s David Bennett who conceded defeat to Labour’s Jamie Strange in Hamilton East.
Macindoe first won Hamilton West in 2008, defeating then Labour incumbent Martin Gallagher in a closely fought contest. On that election night, Gallagher held Macindoe’s hand aloft to signify a changing of the guard.
That gesture was repeated by Macindoe on Saturday as he lifted Sharma’s hand up to loud applause from the Labour faithful.
“Politics is ultimately about the contest of ideas, and aren’t we lucky that we live in a democracy,“ Macindoe told the crowd before turning to Sharma.
“I wish you all the best as you serve our fabulous city. I want to thank you for your friendship [and] your congeniality. Three years ago you were gracious when the roles were reversed. Tonight is your night.”
Hamilton West’s reputation as a bellwether seat again rang true, with city voters reflecting the sentiment among voters nationally.
Based on current voting numbers, Bennett will return to Parliament as a list MP.
Back at Macindoe’s election night headquarters, at the Hamilton Golf Club, a line-up of well-wishers circled the outgoing MP, offering condolences and words of support. Most left by 11pm. Mingling in the crowd was former Hamilton Deputy Mayor John Gallagher and business titan Sir William Gallagher.
Supporter Anne-Marie Case-Miller said Macindoe’s departure left a significant void to fill. Macindoe’s love for Hamilton could not be overstated.
“I think a lot of people will realise what they’ve lost in the coming months,” Case-Miller said.
The seat of Hamilton West was first contested in 1969. Since then, only one sitting MP – Sir Leslie Munro – has retired from the seat.
“Given the history of the seat you always know that it’s likely that your time will end in defeat. To leave on my own terms, I would have had to defy history,” Macindoe said.
“Hamilton West continues to reflect exactly how the country moves and I imagine it will be like that for some time to come. To be honest, tonight’s result is not unexpected. It’s obviously hugely disappointing but I’m reconciled to it because I’ve had some time to prepare for it.”
Macindoe’s immediate plans include travelling to Wellington to clean out his parliamentary office and winding up his Hamilton office. He also plans to spend more time with wife Anne.
“I’ve obviously lost my job but four other people, my staff, have lost their jobs as well. So I obviously feel for them.”
Credit: Source link