Labour has smashed National’s hold on provincial New Zealand, looking set to capture up to 18 formerly National seats based on early voting.

With just over half of the vote counted, Labour has grabbed the National seats of Whangārei, Northcote, Upper Harbour, Takanini, Hamilton East, Hamilton West, East Coast, Tukituki, New Plymouth, Whanganui, Rangitikei, Ōtaki, Wairarapa, Hutt South, Nelson, Ilam, Rangitata and Invercargill.

That means high-profiles National MPs such as deputy leader Gerry…

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