Less than three months after becoming Wellington’s deputy mayor, Paul Eagle is eyeing up a seat in Parliament.
Eagle lives in Island Bay and was raised in Wellington’s eastern and southern suburbs.
Labour leader Andrew Little, who lives near Eagle in Island Bay, previously said he was considering running in Rongotai but had not made a final decision.
A source within Labour said that the replacement of John Key, the MP for Helensville, with list MP Bill English as prime minister was a game-changer for Labour.
There was now less pressure on Little to contest an electorate as National’s leader was also without one, the source said.
I’m told it is not at all clear that Little could beat Eagle for the nomination. Eagle is very popular locally. It would be fatal to Little to seek an electorate nomination as leader and fail, so I suspect he will not stand now.
The excuse will be that English is list only but English of course has shown he can win an electorate. Little has failed twice in New Plymouth.
Also if Little is list only, there is a non-trivial chance he won’t get back to Parliament as on the Roy Morgan poll Labour would get only 28 MPs and they hold 27 electorates. If they picked one one more electorate Little would be out on that poll.