21 Sep 2017

National party bus starts journey to finish line

9:02 pm on 21 September 2017

The National Party leader is making his final run into the election, leading a two-day bus trip through the North Island to Auckland.

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Bill English and Chris Bishop stop for photos in Lower Hutt. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

But before Bill English jumped on the campaign bus in Wellington this morning, he cast his advance vote.

Bill English and wife Mary voting on 21 September.

Mary and Bill English place their advance vote. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Mr English, who will be in Auckland and out of his electorate on election day, joined the hundreds of thousands of voters who have made their decisions early.

After leaving the polling booth at the Asteron Tower on Featherston Street, he confirmed he gave two ticks to National.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern had made her advance vote in her electorate of Mt Albert on the first day voting opened.

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Jim Bolger shows his support for the National Party and Bill English. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The bus tour is a regular campaign event for National in the days leading into the election.

It left the Wellington railway station just after 8am and made stops at a cafe in the Lower Hutt suburb of Maungaraki and at Coastlands Mall in Paraparaumu.

At both places dozens of party supporters were there to greet Mr English, including former Prime Minister Jim Bolger.

Mr Bolger wished Bill English well, and said voters had a "very clear choice".

"How the Labour party is still trying to make up policies after nine years in opposition is beyond my comprehension ... Bill is going very well," Mr Bolger said.

Mr English joined in on birthday celebrations for an employee at Life Pharmacy, singing happy birthday along with her colleagues.

National Party leader Bill English, celebrates the birthday of a pharmacy employee, centre, during National's bus tour on Thursday. National MP Nathan Guy at left.

Bill English, right, celebrates the birthday of a pharmacy employee in Paraparumu, with National MP Nathan Guy at left. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

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