Audrey Young writes:
There is increasing speculation that Jones will leave the diplomatic corps and stand for New Zealand First against National MP Shane Reti in Whangarei, an electorate in which New Zealand First has traditionally done well.
I’ve heard this also.
Reti got 56% of the vote and Paraone (NZF) got 8% so unlikely to be at risk. However Jones is well known up North and the NZ First brand quite strong there, so you can’t rule it out. After Northland, National can’t be complacent.
What is interesting is what this will mean if say Peters did hold Northland and Jones did win Whaangarei (again I regard this as unlikely) and NZ First hold the balance of power and have to decide between a National-led Government and a Labour led Government reliant on the Greens.
The party vote in Whangarei is 50% National, 18% Labour and 10% Greens. In Northland it is 49% National, 17% Labour and 11% Greens.
How likely is it Peters and Jones will put Labour and Greens into power, when their seats overwhelmingly don’t like them. If they did, then they could both risk losing them in 2020.
So Jones standing in Whangarei may be worse for Labour than it is for National as it ties NZ First to conservative seats.