Andrew Little won’t contest any electorate

Labour leader Andrew Little has announced a decision not to stand in any electorates this election. He will stand on the list only. If he remains as leader he should be number 1 on the list so barring a Labour electoral catastrophe he should make it back into Parliament.

Stuff: Little flags away Rongotai, New Plymouth to go list-only for 2017 election

Labour leader Andrew Little is to run as a list-only candidate in this year’s election, opening the way for councillor Paul Eagle to win the party’s nomination for the Rongotai seat.

Little has previously been defeated in the New Plymouth seat twice by National backbencher Jonathan Young but it was long rumoured he may seek to stand in Deputy Leader Annette King’s Rongotai seat, where he lives, if she stood down.

King has decided not to stand in Rongotai this year and is also going list only (unless she retires altogether).

He formally told his fellow MPs of his decision on Monday at a caucus retreat in the Wairarapa.

“I’ve told them I will be a list-only candidate. I’m not seeking nomination or selection for any seat,” Little said.

“Leading a general election campaign I need the flexibility I have had for the last two years of being able to be, in effect, anywhere anytime.”

At the leadership level you were “MP for the whole of New Zealand” and that was the way he saw the job.

In general I agree that a major party leader – and especially the prime Minister – are better suited to be list only and not committed to a single electorate.

However Little has a credibility problem, having never been successfully elected by voters.

Little said Eagle, who has confirmed he is considering contesting Rongotai, was the leading contender, though Little said he did not know who else might be interested. .

He had won council elections, organised well, and was a very strong identity with good connections in the area.

“He has got everything you would need for a good, effective MP,” Little said.

Ironic comments given their contrast with Little’s lack of electoral success.

Little said he had been waiting for King’s announcement to be tied down before making his call.

Rongotai members had asked him to consider standing, but after giving it a couple of days’ thought he decided to stay with his view he should remain a list MP.

That was last year. It seems off he has waited until now to announce it, especially given that Eagle announced his interest in standing in Rongotai the day after King announced she was stepping down.

Leave a comment


  1. PDB

     /  16th January 2017

    Like his ‘home town’ of New Plymouth Rongotai made it clear early on that they preferred somebody else……..hardly a ringing endorsement for New Zealanders to make him PM if individual electorates don’t want him.

  2. “However Little has a credibility problem, having never been successfully elected by voters.” Strictly speaking this is not true. He won the Labour Leadership contest fair and square under the rules of the Labour constitution…

    • Strictly speaking that’s not voters, it was effectively decided by a handful of unions.

      • Who under the constitution of the Labour Party are – Voters….

        Unfortunate truth PG – Andy focus on tying up the critical deciding voting bloc and won accordingly.

        While I agree his inability to carry his peers or the wide membership vote is a black mark – he still won an election.

      • Pete Kane

         /  16th January 2017

        That’s nonsence. 40^ membership, 40% 30 something (low) MPs.

    • PDB

       /  16th January 2017

      dave1924 – Being somewhat pedantic there, I’m sure Andy won an ‘election’ at school as well at some stage……comparing an internal party election based on ‘instant-runoff voting’ with an electoral election which is ‘one person/one vote’ is apples and oranges stuff.

  3. Pete Kane

     /  16th January 2017

    Actually, the more I think about it, this has massive (and not just the obvious) credibility gap.

  4. Zedd

     /  17th January 2017

    Obviously Little, does not think that the leader of a party (or a potential PM) has to be an electorate MP (thats totally outdated).. “good thinking” sez I&I 🙂


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