Phil Twyford not seeking Mt Albert nomination

Written By: - Date published: 4:27 pm, April 21st, 2009 - 57 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

Phil Twyford

Phil Twyford

Breaking news…

Labour MP Phil Twyford announced today he will not be seeking the nomination for the Mt Albert by-election.

Twyford said he believed the by-election was an ideal opportunity to bring more fresh talent into Parliament, building on Labour’s 2008 intake.

“I am already a Member of Parliament. If someone from outside stands and wins Mt Albert we get another injection of renewal, adding to the 13 new Labour MPs elected last year,’ Phil Twyford said.

‘That will make us a stronger Opposition and is an investment in the next Labour Government.

“I will be working hard in the coming weeks with other Labour Party members to win Mt Albert for Labour.

“Mt Albert is Labour heartland. The strong party organisation is one of the legacies of Helen Clark’s immense contribution to Labour.

‘I am confident that with such a great team of party activists we will win the by-election and win it convincingly,” Phil Twyford said.

Bugger…

Oh well that leaves him available for another worthy electorate – Auckland Central perhaps. Labour needs to do early selections for the ‘vacant’ seats. In the meantime I suspect this will leave the wingnuts at a loss for a few days. They were so looking forward to the Tizard fear campaign. However I suspect that National electorate MP’s will look at this formidable campaign organiser and tremble 😈 I’ve seen him in action.

It does now leave it open to others in Mt Albert for the selection. They have a day left for getting a selection in (I think it closes tommorrow). In the meantime I’ll keep getting things organised in my home seat to see how much of a trouncing we can give the Nat’s.

[lprent: updated photo]

57 comments on “Phil Twyford not seeking Mt Albert nomination”

  1. George Darroch 1

    I’m not a fan of carpetbaggers, no matter how competent or worthy they are as people. What’s was his connection to Mt Albert? I’m glad he didn’t stand there.

    • lprent 1.1

      He lives in the electorate and worked in the electorate office for a number of years. His house is on the border with Auckland Central.

      Not a carpet bagger

      • George Darroch 1.1.1

        Oh. I thought he was from the North Shore, since he stood there at the last election. You can see why I was confused.

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          I think that he grew up over there in the wilds beyond the bridge…. He also stood in 2005

          One of the most impressive things I’ve seen for a while was the call center that was being run there on election day. I went to see how the targeting was working out. For the first time we’d managed to get Mt Albert so that I wasn’t working like a beaver on the day and could have look at other electorates using the targeting systems I’d built. Phil had done a lot of the work to make sure that happened – great bit of organizing. It takes quite a lot to impress me on electorate campaigns.

          • George Darroch 1.1.1.1.1

            I’m glad to hear it, and glad to hear that he has real connections to those electorates. An outsider won’t lose you a safe seat necessarily, but it will hurt.

            I also wish I could have a look at what you’re doing to win the electorate 😉 Proper campaigning is an art and a science.

  2. Tane 3

    Ha, double post. Have deleted mine so as not to cause confusion.

  3. Norma 4

    Bugger! Phil would be a great replacement for Helen. A home-grown boy in the electorate who knows the people and the issues is a far better that a newbie. Sure, it keeps Tizard out, but she would have been out at the next election as I doubt she would have been selected for Auckland Central and would have found herself at the bottom of the list.

  4. Yes I think Twyford would be a great MP for Mt Albert. And perhaps he will be the candidate in 2011. The whole “vote Twyford, get Tizard” issue was too significant though. That certainly leaves things wide open.

  5. mike 6

    One victory already for the nats and not a single cast yet…

    I will piss myself laughing if they win the seat but the hiding Labour took in some “safe” seats in 08 you never know.

  6. After the nominations close I think I’ll put up a profile on the candidates for Labour with links to their respective on-line presences. That will probably help as a clearing house for Labour members in the electorate.

    Anyone know of what is happening with the Greens in Mt Albert?

  7. Sweetd 8

    I am wondering if Twyford did not resonate with the good folks of Mt. Albert at the focus meetings; that is the reason he is not standing?

    Would have been interesting seeing the match up between Twyford vrs Lee (probable) vrs Green canidate. I am also thinking that the possibility of the labour candidate loosing the seat will do their chances in the labour party no good, hence Twyford not standing. With the poll out the other day, its anyone’s (well nats v labour) seat at the moment.

    At the moment, there is much more pressure on labour to keep the seat, than national to win it.

    • lprent 8.1

      Nah. He resonates ok. It is hard not to like Phil. I suspect that the need to get fresh people into parliament this term was the main reason.

  8. gobsmacked 9

    Suggested Labour slogan: “Vote National and get Cam Calder”!

    Whoever wins the seat for Labour is going to keep it at the next election, and until they retire or boundaries are changed. So they’d better pick a good ‘un.

  9. Monty 10

    Great News and a small victory for the VRWC. The Tizard timebomb has not exploded yet – just delayed a little and Judith returning remains one missed heartbeat away. In the meantime she will no doubt remain unemployed / unemployable.

    Please do not kid yourselves – this is all about Judith and the fear Labour has about Tizard returning to parliament so she can finish knitting that scarf. So who will be the next Labour list MP to leave??

    Or will the fear of working in the real world ensure that Labour retain their current list of Labour MPs right throught to the 2011 election? (and in the process deny Judith a return to the Opposition benches)

    • jerry 10.1

      I think even National voters should consider voting Labour as a form of sincere gratitude for not letting Judith back into parliament ….. I must admit I had a sneaking suspicion Winni Peters would have a tilt at the seat .. now that would have been entertaining !

  10. gobsmacked 11

    I wouldn’t get too excited Monty.

    It’ll be fun when the media start asking Melissa Lee what she thinks about the government’s policies, post-budget. She has a habit of saying what she thinks.

    • mike 11.1

      “She has a habit of saying what she thinks.”

      Can’t have that can we when we’re used to all comments going through the sister-hood filter first eh

      • lprent 11.1.1

        Or the specific donkey filter of Ah’ing through interviews….

        captcha: squawks suffrage
        See even recaptcha is against your 19th century attitudes…

      • gobsmacked 11.1.2

        Oh, I’m all for it, Mike. But John Key won’t be. You’ll find out soon enough.

  11. I’m disappointed that Phil won’t be standing — he’s a strong campaigner with ties to the electorate and I’m pretty sure he’d have won it. But the equation — Twyford win brings back Tizard vs the potential to bring in a new MP — has told here, I think.

    I suspect Phil will seek, and win, the Labour nomination for Auckland Central (where he’s already the buddy MP) at the next election. His formidable campaign manager, Barbara Ward, has plenty of mana in the electorate — and for all the fuss about Nikki Kaye, she only got about the same vote as Pansy Wong had. The next Labour candidate’s job will be to bring back the voters who didn’t turn out for Tizard last year.

  12. Putting Twyford in Auckland Central is an excellent idea, he should be able to knock off Nikki Kaye. The revitalisation line is an excellent platform for Labour to run on.I notice John Key trying to suggest he won’t be too involved in the By-Election – Bollocks he will be right in there. It will be a good example of leadership effects in NZ elections, and a real test for Goff.

  13. Changes to the electorate boundaries shifted Pt Chev from Auckland Central to Mt Albert. This played a big role in Labour losing Auckland Central at the last election – along with a general shift to National and also the changing demographics of the area (though that’s a process that has been happening for the past 20 odd years).

    So, who are possible candidates? Meg Bates? Glenda Fryer? Anyone else?

  14. outofbed 15

    By Elections are strange things difficult to forecast
    I expect National to win because the Greens are fielding a strong candidate which will in all likelihood split the left vote. So the majority of people in the Mt Albert electorate will not have representation.by a person of thier choice
    ( which is pretty much par for the course in a FPP electorate election)
    However the result will make fuck all difference to the make up of parliament anyway. So who cares ?

    • It’s a good opportunity for issues to be aired at this point in the electoral cycle. This by-election gives all parties an opportunity to make a case for voting for them….and why people might not want to vote the way they voted last time.

      I’ve heard many people say they never would have voted National if they knew on November 8th, 2008 what they know now. It’s a chance to see that sort of signal sent to Wellington.

      Not voting is dumb.

  15. the sprout 16

    “that leaves him available for another worthy electorate – Auckland Central”

    Indeed.

  16. so who cares?

    How about the 60,000 plus voters in Mt. Albert for a start.
    The Labour Party
    The National Party
    The Green Party
    The Act Party

    It also reflects upon the Government and the Opposition and the way they act – it is a bloody important event!!

    come on outofbed – not turning up to an election because its FPP does not make the electorate voting system any better!

    Captcha: blue wedged

  17. George Darroch 18

    Don’t forget the Jackson Wood vote.

    “A string of low-profile nobodies have been stood by both Labour and National in Mt. Albert in the last twenty-eight years and it is time for this to change.”

    “I’ve had enough of Auckland being unofficially run by MP’s whose interests truly lay in Wellington – it is time to make it official.”

    In a question and answer session following his speech, Wood acknowledged the unconventional nature of campaigning for an electorate he had never visited.

    “While it is true I have never visited Mt. Albert, I do in fact live in Mt. Victoria – and anyone who knows their history will accept that is close enough”.

    Ha!

  18. I love the statement that both LABOUR and National have had a string of low-profile candidates – How about the bloody Prime MInister? Pretty low profile eh?

  19. I only know Phil Twyford indirectly, but his reputation is sound. It’s a shame some other MP couldn’t have retired before Clark and Cullen. That would have defused the T bomb.

  20. Tim Ellis 21

    I think it’s a pity that Labour won’t be putting up its best candidate for Mt Albert. Twyford I understand is a strong operator, although he does have a quite low profile and he’s hardly a dynamic speaker.

    I applaud your confidence for Labour’s prospects, LP. I approve of courageously bold predictions.

    • Labour will want a strong person in Mt. Albert because whoever gets in there may well be in parliament for many years. It’s not a place you want to be storing dead wood. Safe seats like that are pure, minted gold in political terms.

      • gobsmacked 21.1.1

        Quite right Steve. The “Tizard issue” is a short-term irrelevance, by comparison. The Labour by-election winner had better be a ministerial prospect.

        Conversely, Melissa Lee would be better off losing this by-election by one vote, and becoming the Nats’ hard luck heroine. Then she can get a better seat for the general election. Whereas if she wins Mt Albert, she’ll certainly lose it in 2011. By 2014 the Nats’ list will be a bloodbath, as the pendulum swings.

        History (not just in NZ) is full of by-election stars that won against the odds and then couldn’t keep the seat. It’s not a good career move.

      • Tim Ellis 21.1.2

        I partially agree Steve. Mount Albert’s demographics are changing, and I don’t think long-term that it is a safe seat for Labour. Historically though it is a strong seat and organisationally with smart people like LP and on the numbers Labour have a clear advantage. If Labour win this time, and they should, then that MP will grow the majority in 2011.

  21. toad 22

    outofbed said: I expect National to win because the Greens are fielding a strong candidate which will in all likelihood split the left vote. So the majority of people in the Mt Albert electorate will not have representation.by a person of thier choice

    Which is a shame. The current FPP system for electorate seats leaves candidates who agree on many things having to be adversiarial opponents, rather than cooperating to advance issues relevant to the electorate.

    How about a campaign for STV for the electorate vote. The Nats are intending a referendum on the electoral system, and I think that is one thing we should be pushing for in that context.

    • gingercrush 22.1

      I support what Australia does which is preferential. So you vote for the candidate you want but then can prefer votes on to other candidates. So lets say there is A candidate B candidate and C candidate. A and B have the top votes. So preferential votes from C are in favour of A and the majority of the C votes go to A. This system is basically STV but its easier than STV which simply ranks things. Preferential does that but in an easier way.

      Such a system would make results clearer in electorate seats such as Wellington Central as one would presume the majority of votes for the Green party candidate would prefer a Labour candidate over a National candidate.

      The following seats I suspect would have been different to the result on election day.

      Auckland Central – Kaye won a majority of 1, 497 but the Green candidate received 4, 592 votes.

      Waimakariri – Cosgrove won by just 390 votes. The Green party candidate received 1, 253 votes. New Zealand First 1, 157 votes and Act 1, 717. Kiwi just over 500 votes. That could have caused a shift in favour of National’s candidate.

      Waitakerei – Bennett won by 632 votes. The Green candidate had 1, 686 votes. This could have changed the seat in favour of Pillay.

      West Coast-Tasman. Won by the National candidate but the Greens had over 2, 000 votes which could have shifted the seat to Labour’s candidate.

      The following seats probably would have returned the same results but potentially another candidate could have won.

      – Hamilton West
      – Maungakiekie
      – New Plymouth – The Greens didn’t field a candidate.
      – Ohariu – Went to Dunne but this was close with three candidates each receiving over 10, 000 votes. National’s 10, 009 votes and other votes for other candidates possibly could have shifted this to Labour.
      – Otaki
      – Rimutaka
      – Te Tai Tonga

      Its also would work well for Auckland elections.

      —-

      Oh and Tyford not going to be a candidate signals that National and the right played Labour and Labour were willing to be played.

    • Yeah

      Let us elect a further Nat MP intent on environmental destruction and then sing Kumbayah with our Green comrades and run a petition so that in two elections time FPP will be considered, but declined by our right wing rulers.

      Toad, what type of lily leaf are you smoking tonight?

  22. Tanya 23

    Yep, MMP is a rort, bring on the referendum, Natonal.

  23. toad 24

    Tanya said: Yep, MMP is a rort, bring on the referendum, Natonal.

    Um, dumb comment Tanya. Put up an argument as to why.

    Personally, I think it is a good electoral system, but needs some tweaking.

    For example, reducing the threshold for parties to get representation in Parliament (which kept NZ First out even though they got over 4% of the vote). I like the fact that they are not there personally, but in the interests of representing electors, I think they should be.

    Abolishing the provision that allows someone who wins an electorate seat (eg Rodney Hide) to drag in very unpopular and extremist MPs (eg the bigoted and homophobic David Garrett) on their coat tails. Although Garrett might have been elected under my above proposal anyway, at least it would have resulted in greater scruting of the ACT candidates, including him.

    • Lew 24.1

      Toad, you misoverestimate Tanya’s potential. Her arguments have historically consisted of “I’m entitled to my opinion”.

      L

  24. outofbed 25

    Let us elect a further Nat MP
    that makes no sense .
    The number of Nat Mp’s will stay the same even if they win M Albert

    • gingercrush 25.1

      No if National chooses someone other than Melissa Lee and wins the seat they will gain an extra MP. Had this been at election time, it would have meant they’d lose a list MP. But by-elections are separate. This situation would mean Labour having less MPs than they are entitled and National having more MPs than they are entitled to. But National will choose Melissa Lee because she’s the best candidate so such a proposition isn’t possible.

  25. outofbed 26

    Is that right ?
    That seems remarkably unfair, undemocratic and disproportional

  26. wren 27

    Between elections, the number of List MPs a party has does not change (leaving aside waka jumping).

    Because Clark was an electorate MP, if a Labour List MP is elected in her place, Labour will bring in an extra List canddiate to replace that MP, who is now an electorate MP, no net gain for Labour.

    If National puts up a List candidate and she (cough Melissa Lee cough) wins, she becomes an electorate MP and a list candidate is brough in to make up the list numbers. Net gain of 1 MP to National, loss of 1 to Labour.

    Labour won’t put up a List MP as their candidate because of Tizard and National will because they could get (yet another) MP.

  27. gobsmacked 28

    They would get Cam Calder.

    If they selected a non-MP, they would get that candidate as the new MP (obviously). So if they do pick Lee, the logical conclusion is: National don’t have a better prospect than Cam Calder.

    Doesn’t say much for their potential candidates, does it?

  28. Whacky Lefty 29

    Let me start my campaign now.

    I live in Christchurch and have no knowledge of Mt Albert or Auckland and so promise to serve my elctorate as well as, if not better than, Brendon Burns does in Christchurch Central.

  29. Most voters don’t even know who the current leader of the Labour party is – the idea that they’re going to change their electorate vote based on some occult MMP process that will eventually lead to Tizard – who is even more obscure than Goff! – getting back in is absurd.

    Labour’s focus groups in the electorate asked questions about celebrity candidates so I guess it’s possible they have some game-changing card up their sleeve. If they don’t and they run some neophyte with zero name recognition then they deserve to lose.

  30. Mark Webster 31

    I hope Phil is in good spirits about this and the party has handled this properly. He deserves to go far. He’d be a top MP for AK Central he’d be a top MP for anywhere, actually.
    Labour cannot afford to lose Mt Albert. I think it would be a death blow.

  31. Paul Robeson 32

    Kia Kaha Labour!

    It’s time to take back Auckland – Central and the West

    stand up those who are not afraid to take these guys on and who know their stuff

    no more central casting candidates- we want some representation of the people by the people for the people of New Zealand!

  32. Judy 33

    But why waste Phil Twyford on Mt Albert? Auckland Central is going to be a real battle in 2011, and he would be the ideal person to contest it. As a sitting MP his profile will be higher, particularly amongst Labour voters who need wooing back into the fold. Nikki Kaye has a formidable team around her, and is not afraid to put in the hard yards. One of my neighbours got no less than three visits from her!

    A younger person who can mobilise the youth vote will strengthen Mt Albert for Labour. Those are the traditional non-voters, but they might turn out for one of their own. A massive “register and vote” campaign at Ak Uni and AUT could make quite a difference.

  33. Labour’s focus groups in the electorate asked questions about celebrity candidates so I guess it’s possible they have some game-changing card up their sleeve.

    Whoop there it is.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10567961

  34. Gareth 35

    Shearer gets the Mt Albert seat now, and you have a better looking Labour caucus in advance of 2011.
    Twyford waits for SuperCity to be a mess at introduction (which it will be no matter how long-term successful it is), blames it on National and takes Auckland Central.

  35. Sarah 36

    Shearer makes sense – very good value. But what happened to Labour’s much-vaunted “rejuvenation”? And wouldn’t they be better to save him for 2011?
    Regardless of the outcome of the selection, let’s take this chance to check out some solid young candidates and keep them in mind for the future. I can think of at least three I’d like to see in Wellington.

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