Mallard pulls out of Hutt South

Richard Harman reports at Politik:

Long serving MP Trevor Mallatrd is to give up his Labour seat of and stand for the list only at the next election.

He says he is doing this because Labour will nominate him as Speaker and he told them he had come to the view that it is very hard to be both an effective electorate MP and chair the house in an unbiased manner.

Or he knows he is highly likely to lose to Chris Bishop and can’t handle that possibility.

Lockwood Smith was an electorate MP and a very unbiased speaker.

Margaret Wilson was a List MP and a very biased speaker. I see no connection.

And he says the move will help the party with its process of renewal by bringing in a new MP.

That means that he is not expecting Leader Andrew Little  who does not have an electorate, to stand in the seat.

Labour’s Deputy Leader Annette King appeared to confirm this last night when she told POLITIK that she did not expect Mr Little to stand in any seat.

Despite his best efforts to find one!

But the move also opens the way for one of National’s young rising stars, Chris Bishop, to possibly win the seat.

Mallard only narrowly won the seat over Bishop at the last election nwith a majority of 709 but the aprty vote went National’s way by 17,648 to Labour’s 10,093.

However Mallard said last night that a large recent poll showing an 8% swing to Labour in the seat since the last election reinforced his view that the seat would  be held by Labour.

This would be like their other polls claiming National is behind Labour/Greens vote. Rarely believe a poll they won’t publish.

Mr Mallard said he had spoken to Party President Nigel Haworth and Leader Andrew Little about his decision and he was confident he would be put in a “winnable” position on the list.

Labour may only get one or two List MPs. Would Mallard be ranked higher than Ardern?

Mallard is currently an Assistant Speaker in Parliament and has been amkimng it clear that he would like the top job if Labour got back into power.

He was a controversial choice though, given his reputation as something of Parliamentary bad boy who had often been thrown out of the Chamber and once punched National MP, Tau Henare in one of the Debating Chamber lobbies over remarks Henare made about Mallard’s private liufe.

But when he was nominated for Assistant Speaker, Gerry Brownlee few MPs knew Parliament’s rules like Mallard did, saying: “He is at heart a true Parliamentarian.”

I’ve not heard any complaints about Trevor as Assistant Speaker and he is partly responsible for some very beneficial changes to Standing Orders such as extended sittings instead of urgency.

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