Odds are good Jim Anderton is standing for mayor of Christchurch. Should work out well for Labour/Progressive. The by-election will be a chance to rev up the machine again. Show it works.
Labour plus Progressive had over 20,000 candidate votes last time. Should be pretty safe. Chance to get a good candidate in too.
If Anderton goes, he’ll will step down in October or before it. Gives Progressives and Labour time to join up. Combine their assets, activists, and systems well before the general election.
But it looks like Labour isn’t the only one seeing an opportunity:
Press release: Lee keen to stand in Wigram
National List MP Melissa Lee today threw her hat into the ring for the possible Wigram by-election.
“If Jim Anderton does stand down from his seat to contest for the Christchurch mayoralty, I’m keen to be National’s candidate in the resulting by-election for the Wigram electorate” said Ms Lee
“I have unparalleled experience in National at fighting by-elections, especially in what used to be seen as Leftwing strongholds”
“People thought, for instance, that no-one could match the popularity that Helen Clark used to enjoy in Mt Albert but I proved them wrong. With my help David Shearer surpassed Clark’s share of the vote! I believe I can make a similar contribution in Wigram”
Ms Lee continued “Of course, there are lessons that I can bring forward from the Mt Albert campaign but they will need some adapting to local circumstances. For instance, the Government has plans for several major motorway projects in and around Wigram. Whereas in Auckland I suggested the Waterview motorway would send criminals from South Auckland zooming through Mt Albert to steal from other suburbs, in Wigram I will tell them the motorway projects will help to divert boy racers to Ilam. And rather than accidentally reveal my anti-Maori racism, in Wigram I will make some inappropriate remarks about Asians – except Koreans, of course, ha ha!”
With the support of my party, Jonathan Coleman’s able campaign management, and a few more dollars from NZ on Air for my production company, I’m sure I will be as successful in Wigram as I was in Mt Albert, if not even more so”
No word yet on whether Jon Boscawen might reprise his role an run as ACT’s candidate. At press time, he was still insisting that if he could just prove that the temperature recalibrations when the Karori weather gauge was moved were fudged then the whole climate change conspiracy would collapse. He also refused to acknowledge the presence of a lamington on his head. Proving a man can be blind to two undeniable things at the same time.