Dalziel’s no list decision

The Herald reports:

Christchurch East MP Lianne Dalziel will not stand on her party’s list this election, saying if the people from Christchurch do not want her to return as their electorate MP she would prefer to leave Parliament altogether.

Ms Dalziel is one of only two MPs who have spurned the safety of the party’s list for the election this November.

Labour’s moderating committee will meet to complete the list rankings tomorrow and most sitting MPs usually secure high enough places to stay in Parliament.

Only Ms Dalziel and Ross Robertson, who has the safe seat of Manukau East and has consistently refused to go on the list, are not going on it this year.

This is a very curious decision. MPs are generally encouraged to be on the list. Generally there are two reasons an MP will refuse to go on the list:

  1. They are worried they may get a ranking which will embarrass them
  2. They are worried that they may lose their seat, and want to send out a signal that if you don’t vote for them in the electorate, then they won’t be in Parliament at all

Ross Robertson clearly fits into category one. He knows he will be ranked lowly by the party, so why bother – he doesn’t need a list safety net anyway.

Dalziel was ranked No 15 in 2008, on Labour’s list. She is one of the few Labour Chairs of a Select Committee, and is generally fairly well regarded. I can’t imagine she is worried about a low list ranking.

So it is No 2. But her majority in 2008 was 5,765. Why would she feel the need to go off the list, unless she felt there was some risk of losing. So why does she think she may lose to Aaron Gilmore?

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