Matthew Hooton does a post-mortem on Trevor Mallard being list-only
The old warhorse claims he plans to return to Parliament as a list MP but he knows he has no chance of making it back. Right now, Labour looks set to win 28 electorate seats but is unlikely to win enough party votes to bring in more than a couple of list MPs, if any.
And Andrew Little would have to be a list position number one… how embarrassing if your party leader can’t even get back on the list?
Worse for poor Mr Mallard, the party’s controversial Rule 360 requires its list moderating committee to ensure there is an equal balance of male and female MPs after the 2017 election. With a big majority of the 28 electorate MPs likely to be male, the first eight effective places on its party list after leader Andrew Little will have to be female.
Our microphones in Fraser House have picked up some significant stress. The sisterhood is being told to pull their heads in, and they’ll be rewarded in 2020. Does that sound like equality, or equality after all the men are safely voted in?
The real reason Mr Mallard is abandoning Hutt South and bringing his 30 years in Parliament to a close is because he knows he would almost certainly lose the seat to National’s rising star Chris Bishop.
Mr Bishop, a born-and-bred Hutt boy, missed out on the previously safe Labour seat to Mr Mallard by just 709 votes in 2014. He probably would have won it had National taken it seriously earlier, and not left Mr Bishop’s selection to just four months before the election.
Nevertheless, Mr Bishop, who sneaked in as a list MP anyway, decided to act as if he had won. He opened National’s first office in Wainuiomata, involved himself in local issues, attends every local event and established his own Hutt City Youth Awards. His close relationships with John Key, Bill English, Gerry Brownlee and Steven Joyce – including as a former staffer for the last two – have positioned him well to sprinkle corporate-welfare pixie dust throughout the electorate.
People who want to win an electorate seat must work 3 years in the seat to build up the profile and respect. Incumbents frequently are coasting on their name recognition and aren’t to be seen locally at all. People who think becoming an electorate MP is a 2-3 month job are almost always disappointed at the outcome. Read more »