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Election 2020 live: Labour's Kiri Allan and Meka Whaitiri closing in on victory

Three quarters of all votes in the East Coast electorate have been counted and the East Coast is turning red.

With 75.4 percent of votes counted Labour's Kiri Allan is 4442 votes ahead of National's Tania Tapsell

National started the day defending the East Coast electorate with a 2017 majority of 4807.

But Deputy Speaker of the House and former cabinet minister Anne Tolley, who held the seat since 2005, retired from politics, with newcomer Tania Tapsell running against locally-based Labour List MP Kiri Allan who stood against Mrs Tolley three years ago.

In the party vote stakes Labour is sitting on 51.6 percent of the vote and National has 27 percent with East Coast electorate voters.

Ms Allan was still expressing caution.

The outcome would be "what the people say," she said.

But she is celebrating the re-election of the Labour Government.

The victory was due to the strong leadership of Jacinda Ardern, she said.

There had been a spectacular turnout, which reflected what she had been hearing on the ground.

"People are pleased with the way she has been leading our country."

The electorate wanted stability during uncertain times.

"They are confident that (Finance Minister) Grant Robertson can do his numbers," she said with a laugh.

"And his numbers add up."

Ms Allan said Covid-19 had been a game change for the world.

"You need a strong team who could pull you through that."

Her supporters in Labour's headquarters, named The Hub, (the former Dollar Dream shop) were jubilant because of the party's performance across the country.

In the Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate Labour's Meka Whaitiri has a 4208-vote lead over the Maori Party's candidate Heather Te Au- Skipworth, with 74 percent of votes counted.

WAITING GAME: Kiri Allan and supporters in Gisborne. Picture by Paul Rickard
Tania Tapsell awaits the East Coast electorate result in Whakatane. Picture by Zizi Sparks