Labour has thrown in the towel in the fight to win one of two seats in New Zealand’s fourth largest city, left-wing commentator Chris Trotter says.
The party is poised to confirm nominee Gaurav Sharma on Monday night as its Hamilton West candidate just 77 days out from the general election on September, 23.
Since the Aucklander is 69th on the list, Trotter sees that as Labour’s admission it’s not a serious bid.
Hamilton West used to be a competitive seat that was a key indicator of who would form Government. Labour used to hold it often. The fact they now can’t find anyone in Hamilton to stand for them in it speaks volumes.
It was previously held by Labour from 1972 to 1975 and 1984 to 1990 (Trevor Mallard) and between 1993 and 1996 and 1991 to 2005.
The majority in recent elections was:
- 2002 Labour 5,574
- 2005 Labour 825
- 2008 National 1,618
- 2011 National 4,418
- 2014 National 5,784
So it was a safe Labour seat and now is a seat they can’t find anyone in Hamilton willing to stand for Labour in.