Ten people have lined up so far for the Mt Albert by-election – seven for Labour and three for National. The Labour seven are:
- Phil Twyford
- Louisa Wall
- Hamish McCracken
- Helen White
- Glenda Fryer
- Conor Roberts
- Meg Bates
Twyford has to be the favourite, so long as he can deal with what the Herald calls the “Tizard dilemma”.
Louisa Wall impressed me as an MP. Labour has a pretty bad record of selecting Maori candidates for winnable general seats, so this would be a chance to change that. However Wall did not go out of her way to curry favour with various party factions and they may not want to give her a seat for life.
Hamish McCracken has stood three or four times before and never been ranked above the 50s, which suggests he is not seen as being of the quality needed to have a safe seat. His EPMU background will help with the head offices votes though.
Helen White also has an EPMU background, and is politically quite experienced. Could do well.
Glenda Fryer. Has some profile from Auckland local body politics but I doubt a front runner for the seat.
Conor Roberts. Conor is one of those annoying people – annoying because absolutely everyone likes him! He may be seen as a bit too young for the seat, but on the other hand it has only had two MPs since 1947. Conor would do well on the campaign trail.
Meg Bates. Meg is the only Young Labour President I have not met, so can’t really comment in detail. She used to work for Helen, and Helen generally employed pretty smart people, so she could be another Jacinda Ardern potentially.
The Nats list is:
- Melissa Lee
- Ravi Musuku
- Mike Loftus
As membership is over 200 in their Mt Albert electorate, the selection will get decided by a selection panel of 60 delegates.
Labour’s selection is a panel of seven, made up of:
- Three people appointed by the NZ Council, one of whom must be a woman
- Two people elected by the LEC, one of whom must be a woman
- One person elected at the selection meeting
- One vote by ballot from those at the selection meeting