Three time election loser Don Brash has announced he will stand in North Shore. Having lost the safe National seat of East Coast Bays twice to Social Credit(!) and the unloseable election as leader in 2005, his odds of defeating even Maggie Barry, a novice best known for her gardening, are poor. But will he split the rightwing vote and let Ben Clark slip though?
Wayne Mapp may have had North Shore sown up with a huge majority but how much of it will Barry inherit? Everyone knows she has no commitment to the electorate – she went shopping around for somewhere in Auckland to run. First, she was rejected by Botany, then it was made clear to her that the Rodney branch didn’t want her, she said there were some ‘lovely little electorates’ opening up before eventually washing up on the North Shore.
Brash has no connection to North Shore either, he lives in Epsom. It’s quite clear that they’ve selected North Shore as the best opportunity for him to win in Auckland. But no-one should be fooled into thinking his odds are good.
Clark, who’s also a writer on this site, is the only major candidate who actually lives in the electorate. He’s working his arse off and will be looking forward to the electorate debates even more now, I’m sure. The prospect of Clark forcing Barry to defend her party’s asset sales policy (‘pay again for what you already own, or we’ll sell them overseas’), and quoting Brash’s praise for capital gains tax in the 90s back to him is something to look forward to.
Good luck Ben!