Campaigning in the Mt Albert by-election
Many are calling the Mt Albert by-election a win for National. Since the Mt Albert electorate was formed in 1946, the party of Government has never taken a seat from an opposition party in a by-election.
So this by-election could make history if Mt Albert turns blue. From figures in the last general election, all it takes is some Clark-loving National voters to vote for the National candidate, and for Green to vote for Russel Norman, and a few hundred extra to vote for the National candidate, provided the rest vote for someone other than Labour.
If Norman wins, the Greens will get an extra seat in Parliament. Labour would like to get an extra seat, too so it has to select a person other than a current List MP to stop Judith Tizard getting in. Its failed list selection process meant that should their favoured candidate win, Tizard will be back in Parliament. Labour wants to avoid that. Tizard should have been way down the list. Favoured candidate Phil Twyford - a list MP - has a right to be pissed off.
Given the number of people in the race, it remains to be seen how many votes fringe candidate and Salient editor Jackson Wood will get. He has issued a media release on the candidacy of Russel Norman - and even spells Norman's name incorrectly. He has even set up a Facebook campaign page as part of the joke. One of the members is a Michel Olivier. He is the Salient News editor.
It would be fitting if Michael J Oliver - or Jean-Michel Olivier - was Wood's campaign manager. Perhaps if he was in one of Wood's politics classes he may have been. Nevertheless, I'd encourage everyone to vote for Jackson James Wood, because as far as I know, he is the only candidate to live in a suburb starting with "Mt".
Update He has also got a good sense of humour.