Brian Rudman looks at Mt Albert:
For an aspiring career politician, especially one tipped for greater things, an electorate seat is a necessary accessory. It gives you a certain freedom that being a mere list MP doesn’t.
This is very right. When MMP came in, some people thought everyone would want to be a List MP as it would be less work. But the security you gain from holding an electorate seat is massive. It gives you an official role in the local community and almost all List MPs would like to hold an electorate.
But jeerings from the sideline by right-wing bloggers and their mates about the downstream consequences of Mr Twyford being selected, seems to have got the Labour leadership all a-twitter.
Those bastards. How dare they point out consequences. Shoot them all!
They want him to bide his time and take on Auckland Central in 2011, or dare I suggest, Mt Roskill, perhaps, whenever Mr Goff bows out.
Is Mr Rudman suggesting there might be a vacancy in that seat for 2011 also?
The bright side for Mr Twyford if he stands aside is that he might be well out of it. With Ms Clark gone, Labour could lose, just as it lost neighbouring Auckland Central a few months before.
Last November, the incumbent Prime Minster on 20,157 vote easily beat her National Party rival, Baptist minister Ravi Musuku, on 9806.
But this included a huge personal vote, with 16.5 per cent of National list voters ticking her as their MP.
The party vote was much closer, Labour leading National by 2436.
This is true. However to pour a bit of damp water on this gap, one should also look at what the Greens and ACT got, because in a by-election their voters will probably vote tactically. The Greens got 3,846 party votes and ACT 1,227 so if you look CL to CR that gap is actually around 5,000 votes.
The other imponderable is how long the John Key honeymoon will linger. With that in mind, Labour would be smart to delay Ms Clark’s resignation as long as possible.
That is the wildcard. What happens if the hugely popular Key actively campaigns in the seat?
As for timings, the speculation I have heard is Helen resigns in May and a by-election in June.