The race for Mt Albert

March 31st, 2009 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Ten people have lined up so far for the by-election – seven for and three for . The seven are:

  1. Phil Twyford

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:

  1. 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
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24 Responses to “The race for Mt Albert”

  1. georgedarroch (317 comments) says:

    No discussion of the National candidates? Or do you simply know Labour people better than Nats?

    [DPF: Actually I probably do know more about the Labour ones! I'll discuss Nats in more detail when nominations close. Labour are most likely to keep the seat so I think most interest is on them]

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  2. grumpy (256 comments) says:

    It would have to be Wall: look at her CV

    Maori
    Female
    Lesbian

    Now, if she were disabled………..

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  3. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,746 comments) says:

    Shouldn’t Labour’s selection process consist of whatever Phil Goff says. That’s how it worked for the previous Labour leader. Just ask Claire Curran.

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  4. Tim Ellis (251 comments) says:

    It looks to me that Twyford is the local favourite by a long shot.

    This will produce a real dilemma for the Labour Party. Mt Albert is organisationally Labour’s strongest seat. Twyford is seen as an effective, hard-working campaigner who has strong connections in the seat. He is already based in Clark’s electorate office as a List MP.

    By-elections are much less about the quality of the individual candidates as about being a referendum on the current government’s performance. The media want to see a close race. They have already started talking up how much a close race it will be. I think a part of that perception will flow through to reality.

    Labour needs to win Mt Albert, and win it by a substantial majority. Anything less will be seen as a major blow to the Labour Party, and probably a show of no-confidence in Goff’s leadership.

    National, on the other hand, doesn’t have those expectations. It is a safe Labour seat. To even take it close, to within a thousand votes, would be seen as a major victory to National.

    It appears that local Labour party activists want to ignore the Tizard effect, but that is the reality of a Twyford selection. Twyford doesn’t need Mt Albert to be in Parliament. Tizard needs Twyford to win Mt Albert to get into Parliament. So the by-election is not about who should be the local Labour MP (because Twyford is doing that work anyway) but whether voters want Tizard back into Parliament. That is a high-risk strategy.

    So either Labour’s centrally-dominated selection committee select Twyford and risk the whole by-election to be about Tizard in particular and one of the most disliked elements of MMP in general (Ousted electorate MPs sneaking in on the list via the back door); or they risk selecting somebody else and alienating large chunks of the strongest electorate organisation it has.

    Either way, it seems to me a lose-lose situation for Labour.

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  5. alex Masterley (1,510 comments) says:

    Might rock along to the Nats selection meeting. Could be interesting, but not as much fun as the labs one which seems a Byzantine process fraught with wheeling and dealing.

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  6. campit (467 comments) says:

    I think National have their work cut out if they believe they can win Mt Albert at the same time as bowling 400 houses for the Waterview motorway and alienating community groups in the process.

    The Herald reports:

    Auckland business leaders are pushing the Government to save more than $1 billion by controversially building the Waterview motorway link across country, rather than through tunnels.

    A report sent to Transport Minister Steven Joyce by the Auckland Business Forum is set to unleash furious debate at a time when political parties are preparing to contest a byelection in the local Mt Albert electorate soon to be vacated by former Prime Minister Helen Clark.

    The Auckland Business Forum claims a return of $3 for every $1 invested if a non-tunnel option was chosen, which sounds too good to be true. Meanwhile Duncan MacDonald of the Avondale Community Board says

    “If the Government is of a mind to do it cheaper, then it won’t get done,” he told the Herald. “I’ll have every person living in Waterview and Mt Albert out there stopping it.”

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  7. Richard Hurst (841 comments) says:

    The Labour seven- are they like the seven known cylons? ;)

    Anyway- I’m surprised there aren’t more lining up for selection- Mt Albert is an ultra safe labour seat which will equal a job for life for whoever gets selected. The actual election is a mere formality. Labour could put up a sack of spuds for election and the zombie voters of Mt Albert will vote it in.

    [DPF: All 13 Cylons are now known]

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  8. racer (257 comments) says:

    DPF, haven’t you previosly said the iron fist of Helen Clark will be hand picking the candidate for this seat?

    Personally I’d like to see Connor Roberts picked as now is a fairly good time for them to be bringing in new people.

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  9. David Farrar (1,889 comments) says:

    Helen will, if she so chooses, have considerable sway with both the LEC and the Head Office reps.

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  10. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “It would have to be Wall: look at her CV

    Maori
    Female
    Lesbian

    Now, if she were disabled………..”

    Thanks for the laff grumpy.

    So true.

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  11. Ryan Sproull (7,100 comments) says:

    Conor’s annoying for another reason – he’s a calm, rational arguer who ALMOST makes me doubt that I am undeniably right about everything. Almost, mind.

    Plus, he’s so dreamy.

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  12. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Hmm – a brand new day. I wonder if the kiwiblog is still a marginalised and ugly bunch of homophobic, racist, sexist misogynists with nothing to contribute to a worthwhile discussion of current politics?

    grumpy Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 11:11 am

    It would have to be Wall: look at her CV

    Maori
    Female
    Lesbian

    Now, if she were disabled………..

    # Redbaiter Says:
    March 31st, 2009 at 12:33 pm
    “It would have to be Wall: look at her CV
    Maori
    Female
    Lesbian
    Now, if she were disabled………..”
    Thanks for the laff grumpy. So true.”

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  13. shady (246 comments) says:

    Ryan – I thought after your comment that Connor Roberts was dreamy I’d google him – and came up with this result –
    “Connor Roberts. Doing his best to sit still, listen and join in on the mat (and at assemblies). ” Sounds pretty dreamy to me!

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  14. jacob van hartog (300 comments) says:

    How come Richard ( harry) Worth hasnt thrown his hat in the ring.

    After all he needs a seat after having lost his last one. Not living there isnt a problem, His mate Wayne Mapp doesnt live anywhere near North Shore either.

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  15. Tim Ellis (251 comments) says:

    David Cunliffe doesn’t live in his New Lynn electorate, and Phil Goff doesn’t live in his electorate.

    Nice trolling Jacob, but there is a whole other thread on Richard Worth just before this one.

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  16. shady (246 comments) says:

    Phil Twyford has campaigned for the North Shore in at least the last two elections – and I’ve only just found out he doesn’t even live there either. Just for the record – went and listened to him at one of the Meet the Local Candidate meetings – he read from speech notes/cards – plagiarised from Helen’s speech from a week before. I couldn’t resist asking if he blushed when he wrote his speech. Thought he was incredibly light weight (not meaning stature – although he’s definitely lighter than Wayne Mapp).

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  17. grumpy (256 comments) says:

    Who the fuck is “Ratbiter”? Poor sad bastard. I bet all the rest of us (even the lezzos) think Melissa Lee is HOT!!!!!

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  18. georgedarroch (317 comments) says:

    Shady makes a good point. Parachuted candidates are resented by a part of the population, and I think that after having a consistently powerful representative of their local interests for so long Mt Albert might not like that either.

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  19. Ross Miller (1,700 comments) says:

    Ok smart arse Hartog. Pray tell us where Wayne Mapp lives if it isn’t ‘north’ of the bridge and while you are at it refresh me why Phil Goof, MP for Roskill, refuses to ‘slum it’ with his constituents, preferring the more gentle climes of Clevedon (where at least I guess he has a decent MP to look after his interests).

    You really are a muppet of the third class variety with an intellect to match. Guess you feel right at home with Labour.

    A functioning democracy needs a strong opposition. Wussel ain’t; Jeanette’s going; Jimbo is a tired old man; Phil doesn’t have it; Annette never got it; what’s left …. Roger Douglas perhaps?

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  20. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Douglas probably will be after Key spends 3 years bashing him with the ‘centrist’ hammer.

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  21. clintheine (1,570 comments) says:

    I don’t know why everybody wants Conor on. Surely we should be discouraging these smiling assassins from being MPs? He chose to join Labour, so thats a big enough reason to not want to praise or encourage him!

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  22. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,746 comments) says:

    Will an important qualification for winning the Mt Albert seat be the ability to produce “Waitangi Tears” on demand?

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  23. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,746 comments) says:

    What kind of gravy train can the new Mt Albert MP expect in regards to the 2011 Rugby World Cup final at Eden Park?

    Free tickets to the final for yourself and a select group of two dozen of your unionist mates plus their “partners”? :lol:

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  24. Circe (13 comments) says:

    My money is on Meg Bates for the seat. She’s young, she’s brilliant and she’s charismatic. All things that we need in Parliament, regardless of the party. Check her out!

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