Jo Moir at the NP Daily News reports:
Andrew Little says rumours in the blogosphere that his heart lies in Wellington are nothing more than “conspiracy theories”.
The New Plymouth Labour candidate said he has no plans for the Wellington-based Rongotai seat, currently held by Labour MP Annette King, and is putting his heart and soul into winning the New Plymouth seat.
Over the past few months right- wing blogger and political activist David Farrar hinted Labour’s 15th ranked candidate has been non- committal in his approach to living in New Plymouth because he plans to stand in the Rongotai electorate in 2014.
Actually I think I said he plans to stand in the 2012 Rongotai by-election.
Look Andrew would like to win New Plymouth, but he hasn’t gone about convincing people he is commited to the seat. Take this quote later on:
At a New Plymouth candidate debate on Monday night Mr Little said he would not live in New Plymouth if he lost the election then got into Parliament as a List MP.
He said the cost to the taxpayer in travel expenses ruled out that possibility.
Oh what nonsense. The expense of not being based in Wellington is a trivial amount of overall parliamentary expenditure.
If Andrew wanted to convince people he is commited to New Plymouth, he should have done the following:
- Given up his two full-time jobs in the first half of the year. He stayed on far too long as Labour President and EPMU National Secretary
- Not stayed on the staff of the EPMU, and campaigned fulltime instead of part-time
- Not be seen protesting with Young Labour on a weekday on Lampton Quay
- Moved the family up to New Plymouth, and rented out the Wellington house. Instead he commuted to the electorate to campaign up until recently. That does not indicate commitment.
- Pledged to live in New Plymouth, if he is a List MP
Note that Andrew has not in any way ruled out standing for Rongotai if he does not win New Plymouth. All he has said is he is elected the Electorate MP for New Plymouth, he will stand again for New Plymouth – well doh that is hardly a surprise. In the last 30 years only one electorate MP has ever ditched their seat, to stand for another seat while an MP for their original seat.
If you want to win a seat off an opponent, you have to throw everything at it. Some candidates give up theri jobs nine months before the election, and then campaign seven days a week for nine months. They don’t keep their Wellington based jobs and commute into the electorate to campaign, and announce that if they lose they’re out of there never to return.