Audrey Young calls Hutt South for National


A decision by Labour’s Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard to stand on the list only next election makes it more likely the seat will fall to National.

Mallard has had a strong personal following in the seat, having held it since 1993.

But in the 2014 election, National’s young candidate Chris Bishop reduced Mallard’s majority to just 709, from 4825 in 2011.

Mallard would also have picked up votes from local Green candidate and list MP at the time Holly Walker, who was retiring from politics.

The greater indication of where the seat could head in next year’s election in in the party vote: National overwhelmingly won the party vote with 17,648, well ahead of Labour on 10,903.

Even with the Greens added to Labour, National was ahead on the party vote by more than 2000.

Not even a Labour/Green arrangement is likely to keep Bishop from taking Hutt South.  

Mallard, who is currently assistant Speaker, says his decision is about wanting to become Speaker in the next Parliament and he had decided it was very hard to chair the House in an unbiased way and be an effective electorate MP.

Labour leader Andrew Little has said that Mallard would be Labour’s nomination for Speaker if it forms the next Government.

Prime Minister John Key said Bishop had been extremely active in Hutt South and that “Trevor Mallard is waving the white flag”.

Mallards stated reason, that he can’t be a speaker and an electorate MP and do both jobs well is a load of rubbish of course.

Lockwood Smith managed just fine, and he is generally regarded as one of Parliament’s better speakers in recent times.

Also, Mallard already ran for an electorate seat and speaker last time, when apparently holding both positions was no problem.

Mallard’s goose is cooked.  He lost the will to do what it takes some time ago, and the momentum he had from being a popular and effective electorate MP is coasting to a stop.

On that basis, he may not be a good choice as Speaker either.

Hutt South will be well served by someone who has the energy.


– Audrey Young, NZ Herald

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