Labour leader Phil Goff said last night the party was ready to fight a by-election in Mount Albert when Helen Clark resigns.
They may have had a head start because no doubt Helen Clark told them she’d been successful in her quest for a UN appointment before it became public, but National will be ready too.
A by-election gives voters the freedom to send messages they might be more cautious about in a general election and while Clark had a solid majority – 10,351 last year a lot of her 20, 157 votes would be personal. The party vote was only 14894 for Labour against 12,468 for National.
I wouldn’t bet the farm on a change of colour for the electorate in the by-election. But I might wager an old ewe if Labour puts up a list candidate whose win would bring in a new list MP who lost her seat . Kiwiblog mentioned Judith Tizard who’d come into that category, a scenario about which Keeping Stock is less than enthusiastic.