POLITIK reports Hutt South MP Trevor Mallard won’t contest his electorate at the next election but will seek a list seat:
He says he is doing this because Labour will nominate him as Speaker and he told them he had come to the view that it is very hard to be both an effective electorate MP and chair the house in an unbiased manner.
And he says the move will help the party with its process of renewal by bringing in a new MP.
That means that he is not expecting Leader Andrew Little who does not have an electorate, to stand in the seat.
Labour’s Deputy Leader Annette King appeared to confirm this last night when she told POLITIK that she did not expect Mr Little to stand in any seat.
A leader’s workload is one reason for Little to continue to be a list MP. But that also makes it easier to say he lacks the on-the-ground experience of people and issues that electorate MPs gain working in a seat and for its people, in contrast to list MPs who can pick and choose more.
This decision also makes an already task more difficult for Labour’s list selection if the party can’t get a substantial boost in its support.
Wallowing in the popularity shallows as it is just now would give Labour very few list MPs.
But the move also opens the way for one of National’s young rising stars, Chris Bishop, to possibly win the seat. . .
Some list MPs don’t try to win electorates, some do and Bishop is one who has been working very hard in Hutt South.
Little would have a much higher profile than a newcomer should he stand in the seat but Bishop would also be able to argue that he (Bishop) would be able to devote much more time to the electorate than a party leader.
Should Little not stand, a newcomer would have to work much harder to gain profile that Bishop’s service in the electorate has given him.
Either way this makes it easier for Bishop, who lost by only 709 votes to Mallard in 2014, to gain the seat.