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National accepts dismal result

Published: 6:59AM Sunday July 28, 2002

National's leader Bill English says the party has to take responsibility for the worst defeat it has ever suffered.

The party attracted only 21% of the party vote, which means several of its current MPs and a number of National's new look candidates will miss out on a place in Parliament.

He says the National Party have been caught by the circumstances of three years of reasonable economic growth, a new leadership and the surprise emergence of the minor parties.

He says there was good support for National's electorate candidates, but it was a shame that did not translate into party votes.

English says there will be discussions about the future of many in the National party, including the president, Michelle Boag, as a result of its showing in the election.

He says there is bound to be some reflex anger within the party.

National has suffered the worst performance of the two leading parties in an election in 100 years.