As we type this, the doors are about to open at polling booths across the Mana electorate. The events at Pike River in the last 15 or so hours have overshadowed Mana, but it's still going to be an interesting contest.
Will Kris Faafoi win, and if so, can he maintain Winnie Laban's majority? What effect will Matt McCarten's hard-left campaigning have on the Labour vote, especially given McCarten's union profile, and the high level of union voters in the electorate? Can Hekia Parata do the unthinkable and the unprecedented, and win a seat from the Opposition in a by-election?
The polls close at 7pm, and a result is expected by 10pm. That seems to be an exceedingly pessimistic expectation, given that polling officers only have one vote to count, and the electorate is relatively small in a geographic sense. We wish all the candidates well, but we certainly hope that somewhere in the next 24 hours there will be a post here entitled Heck Yeah; if nothing else, Hekia Parata had the best campaign slogan!