Last night on Twitter I was asked if I could compile a list of those who have put there hand up for a contest selection for Labour in 2014. While I’d be more than happy to do so, information on them is, in most cases, remarkably hard to come by. For the time being, I’ll be profiling seats where we do know the names of at least some of the candidates.
With long-standing local MP Ross Robertson announcing his retirement at the 2014 general election, Labour’s safest seat is up for grabs. In 2011 Ross’ majority was almost 16,000 votes – any Labour candidate is virtually guaranteed to get elected to Parliament.
The challenge for the successful candidate will not be to get elected, but instead to lift turnout. In 2011 Labour got a massive 65% of the party votes cast, but the turnout was a miserable 67.8%. The candidate should go into the election with a goal of lifting the turnout to 75% (I’ve just pulled that number out of thin air – I really hope they are a bit more scientific) – which could well gain one or two additional list MPs for Labour and significantly improve their chances of forming the next government.
So who has put their name forward so far? The names I’m aware of so far are:
- Jerome Mika
- Efeso Collins
- Sunny Kaushal
Given how many candidates put their name in the ring the last time a safe South Auckland electorate came up (it seemed there were more candidates than delegates at the Manurewa selection) – I’d be very surprised if the list isn’t actually bigger. If you know of any other candidates, please feel free to email me or leave a comment and I’ll update this list.
I’d hazard a guess that at this stage Jerome Mika is the front-runner. He’s a solid Cunliffe supporter and has the backing of the powerful EPMU. It’s early days yet, but without any other serious contenders coming forward, Mika may very well find his way into Parliament.
Nominations for Manukau East close on the 10th of February and the selection meeting is scheduled for the 22nd. Interesting times.