Audrey Young : Green factor adds spice in Mt Albert

Audrey Young : Green factor adds spice in Mt AlbertThe optimistic Prime Minister John Key is being unusually downbeat about National’s prospects in the Mt Albert byelection. He emphasised at his post-Cabinet press conference on Monday that he would not be over-exerting himself… [NZ Herald Politics]

Audrey Young has noticed that National isn’t quite so cock-a-hoop about Mt Albert now the Greens have announced that Russel Norman is standing. My sources also tell me that National thinks its chances have ebbed away and that the contest is now a two horse racce between the Labour and the Greens.

As is often the case in by-elections someone can become the bolter virtually overnight and it certainly looks that way with Russel Norman campaigning strongly for the Green and disaffected Labour vote.

The simple facts for National are that there just isn’t enough of a struggling middle band in Mt Albert to swing the seat their way.

What will be interesting to watch now though will be the battle between the Goff Faction and their chosen candidate (Shearer) and the Clark Faction and their candidate Meg Bates. Bates has already garnered close Clark confidants Cath Tizard, Judy Callingham and Bryan Edwards as supporters. If Goff’s chosen candidate, Shearer, is selected then it will be interesting to see if Mt Albert’s Clark loyalist roll in behind him or whether Labour president and EPMU General Secreatary Andrew “Chicken” Little will have to roll out the union troops to make up the numbers.