Will Peters stand for Northland?

The Herald reports:

First leader Winston Peters says he is considering for the vacant Northland MP seat.

Speaking from Te Tii Marae at today, Mr Peters claimed he had been inundated with calls asking if he would put his name forward for the position.

National’s Mike Sabin resigned from the position on Friday citing personal issues. Mr Sabin’s resignation followed reports he was being investigated by police.

The is set for March 28.

First is seriously going to consider the issue,” Mr Peters said.

“It’s a possibility. I’m a local here, I come from here and I know more about this area than a whole lot of other pretenders.

“I got a whole lot of phone calls. That’s why I’ve been interested.”

A decision about whether First would put forward a candidate for the by-election, or whether Mr Peters would stand himself, would be made “very soon”, he said.

Northland is a safe but not a mega-safe seat for National. It had the 37th highest party vote for National at 49% – slightly below the median. The electorate vote of 53% was the 32nd highest – the median. The electorate vote dropped 5% from 2011.

The majority of 9,300 is large, but only the 31st largest majority. It is safe but not indestructible. National needs a strong candidate.

Could Peters win the seat? He was born there and would get a lot of publicity. However many of his supporters are on the Te Tai Tokerau roll. In 2014 NZ First got 12.8% of the vote – their 8th best response.

Labour only got 16.6% in Northland. It is quite possible Peters could beat the Labour candidate and come 2nd. However hard to see that he could get 35% to 40% of the vote and win the seat.

Peters may have a bach in Northland, but would he live there? Rural don’t want their MPs living in Auckland Central.

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