Botany by-election: Mike Turinsky wins the seat

Mike Turinsky. Times photo Wayne Martin.

Mike Turinsky has won the Botany by-election by more than 2000 votes and will represent the Botany subdivision on the Howick Local Board.

Turinsky received 3510 votes.

Mark Johnson finished in second place with 1387 votes and Ailian Su claimed third with 1045 votes.

Julie Patterson received 925 votes and was followed by Kuan Cheong Yap with 851 votes, Nivedita Sharma Vij with 536 votes and Malcolm Page with 485 votes.

Turinsky was working with students at a local school when he received the call that he won.

“It’s a surreal feeling…I didn’t believe it at first,” he told the Times.

Turinsky said one of the first things that went through his head was how the other candidates felt.

“I know what it’s like to lose, I’ve lost twice. The candidates all worked hard and they’re all really good people.”

He plans to celebrate with family at a friend’s Cambodian restaurant this evening and relax before kicking into official business.

Turinsky said he will attend the Howick Local Board meeting on Monday evening as a private citizen before finding out what the next steps are.

The Botany subdivision encompasses Flat Bush, East Tamaki, East Tamaki Heights and Ormiston.

Turinsky was unsuccessful in the October 2016 local election, polling fourth with 3912 votes.

He will be sworn in on March 20 and from then on will be able to take part in the local board’s decisions, Auckland Council said in a statement this afternoon.

Voting closed at noon today and all votes were counted at the Electoral Office on Federal Street in central Auckland.

Electoral officer Dale Ofsoske confirmed a total of 8771 votes were handed in, out of the 36,333 electors issued a voting document. That accounts to a 24.14 per cent voter turnout.

In the October 2016 election, which was also a postal vote, voter turnout in the Botany subdivision was 36.9 per cent – the lowest of the three Howick Local Board subdivisions.

Botany by-election results

Mark Johnson (Labour) – 1387
Malcolm Page (Independent) – 485
Julie Patterson (Independent) – 925
Nivedita Sharma Vij (Independent) – 536
Ailian Su (Independent) – 1045
Mike Turinsky (Practical Not Political) – 3510
Kuan Cheong Yap (Independent) – 851

Informal – 8
Blank – 24