Wellington Central was always going to be an interesting electorate to watch this election, with Grant Robertson going up against James Shaw.
While the Green Party has historically sought party votes only and nodded and winked at the Labour candidates for the electorate votes now he is party co-leader Shaw will want to be seen as popular with voters.
Results from 2014:
While Robertson won the electorate vote easily Labour came third behind National and Greens in the party vote.
National’s candidate for the last two elections, Paul Foster-Bell, was challenged for candidacy and withdrew, announcing he would resign at the end of this term.
National’s canddiate has now been announced. Stuff: National chooses Nicola Willis for Wellington Central seat
Former John Key adviser and Fonterra executive Nicola Willis has been selected unopposed as National’s candidate for the Wellington central seat.
She replaces Paul Foster-Bell who pulled out once it became clear she had the numbers.
Robertson must still be clear favourite to win, but Willis will be wanting to give things a good nudge.
And much may depend on how Shaw approaches his campaign. How much help will he want to hand Robertson?
The electorate result won’t change the overall outcome of the election.
In association with Labour’s Memorandum of Understanding with the Greens Andrew Little has said that Robertson as Finance Minister is not negotiable.
Robertson is likely to get a high list placing, his current ranking of 3 seems likely. And if his re-election via the list is at risk (that’s possible if Labour support collapses further) then Labour are unlikely to form the next government.
But what if he loses his electorate seat? That would give Greens some justification for arguing for a more significant say in Finance.
Are Greens happy to be subservient to Labour this election? Or will they campaign more strongly in electorates?
It is likely to improve their party vote if the fight for electorate votes as well. When they imply ‘vote for my party but vote for them’ then there must be more chance of both votes going to ‘them’.