This is a huge call, and shows how worried Labour were by the thought of the by-election turning into a referendum on Judith Tizard returning to Parliament.
I suspect Phil Goff will be pleased with the outcome. Goff’s leadership would have been fatally undermined if Labour lost Mt Albert due to voters not liking who would enter Parliament for Labour.
It is a tough break for Twyford. He is well regarded and respected, and in different circumstances would have won the nomination and very probably the seat.
He may need to wait a while to get a safe seat in Auckland. Mt Roskill may come up in 2014. I suspect Manurewa and Manukau East will come up in 2011 also. Te Atatu could also come up in 2011 or 2014 arguably.