21 November 2013

Upper Harbour: crooked as a dog's hind-leg

The Representation Commission has invented the most peculiar new electorate, Upper Harbour, running from west of the northern motorway, taking in a chunk of Glenfield and over the ridge to Greenhithe, and then crossing the Upper Harbour Bridge to Hobsonville, West Harbour and working-class Massey around the upper reaches of the north-western motorway. These suburbs have no close geographical connection or urban community in common with one another.
Paula Bennett has immediately put her hand up to stand in the new electorate for National. That makes sense for her, given that she probably doesn't have a bolter's show in the new electorate of Kelston, formed out of parts of her now-disappearing Waitakere seat.
As Colin Craig was also said to be eyeing Upper Harbour as a foothold for the Conservatives, Bennett's claim on it makes that look impractical. But, given the make-up of the new electorate, Bennett can't take it for granted as a safe National seat either. The beneficiaries out west and in Glenfield won't be happy to see her name on their voting papers.
Strong candidates from other parties could split the votes up and make this new electorate 'one to watch' on election night.


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