Audrey Young at the NZ Herald reports:
A win in Te Tai Tokerau byelection by Labour list MP Kelvin Davis could free up a spot on Labour’s list but ex-MP Judith Tizard, who is next in line, is not likely to take it.
In fact, under the electoral law, Labour would have the choice between getting a new list MP or not.
If Mr Davis won the constituency seat, he could resign from the list and create another list vacancy.
This would allow Labour – which got 43 MPs elected in 2008 but has since lost Chris Carter – to return to having 43.
But Mr Davis would not be required to resign, as chief electoral officer Robert Peden told the Herald.
“There is no statutory obligation on a list member who wins a byelection to resign his or her list seat. However, by not resigning their list seat, the list member would be preventing their parliamentary party from benefiting from the byelection win through gaining an additional member in the House from the party’s list,” he said.
This confirms a point that Graeme Edgeler has often made – that a List MP does not have to resign as a List MP, if they win a by-election and become a constituency MP. They would not however get two votes in the House.
The person next in line after those five is veteran Labour candidate and former MP Lesley Soper, who is contesting the Invercargill seat.
She is not on Labour’s list and party sources have suggested she would not be inclined to take up a list seat and disrupt her campaigning in Invercargill.
Ha ha ha. Soper is hated by many in caucus as she is pro-life. They’d rather have Tizard back than Soper.
Statements by the Labour leadership suggest the party is leaning towards having no new list MP in the event of Mr Davis winning the constituency.
Deputy Labour leader Annette King said on Tuesday the party was seeking advice on the matter.
There are two ways they can do this. One is to have Kelvin not resign his list seat. The other is to have the House by 75% majority resolve not to fill a list vacancy as within six months of the general election.