In spite of more than 14 years with MMP there’s still a perception that an electorate seat is better than a list one.
Electorate MPs do sometimes opt to seek a list place only, but usually only towards the end of their careers as Michael Cullen did and Lockwood Smith plans to.
It’s much more common for list MPs to try for an electorate seat – some more than once.
The Labour Party has today chosen list MP Phil Twyford as its next candidate in the Te Atatu electorate, replacing ousted MP Chris Carter.
Mr Twyford has saved himself from the embarrassment of missing out on his fourth hope for an electorate seat. He lost out on the Waitakere seat to Carmel Sepuloni. He was also earlier discouraged by the party hierarchy from putting his name forward in two seats – Mt Albert, now held by David Shearer, and Auckland Central, in which Jacinda Ardern will stand.
The question now is, will Chris Carter stay for the full term or will he go early and prompt another by-election?