The Herald reports:
Labour has selected music teacher Jamie Strange as its candidate in Hamilton East – once considered one of the bellwether seats of New Zealand.
The father of four young children will try to wrestle the seat back from National. David Bennett won the seat with a 10,000 vote majority in 2014.
Strange missed out on selection in Hamilton East in 2014 and was instead selected as Labour’s candidate in Taupo despite his Hamilton base.
That is a safe National seat and Strange worked full-time throughout the campaign.
Candidates serious about willing will often leave their job six to nine months before the election to campaign full-time.
The majority in Taupo last election was 15,046 and in Hamilton East 10,199. Both safe seats.
Hamilton East and its sister electorate Hamilton West have traditionally been viewed as ‘bellwether’ seats as the MP who wins them is usually from the party that goes on to form a government.
It was from 1972 to 1993. The record since then is more mixed:
- 1993: Labour (opp)
- 1996: National (govt)
- 1999: National (opp)
- 2002: Labour (govt)
- 2005: National (opp)
- 2008: National (govt)
- 2011: National (govt)
- 2014: National (govt)
So it has been held five times by the government and three times by the opposition. And six times by National and three times by Labour since 1993.