Bat­tle for Mt Roskill nearly over

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - CATRIN OWEN

Mt Roskill will likely have a new MP on Saturday af­ter seven con­sec­u­tive years of for­mer Labour leader Phil Goff hold­ing the seat.

The by-elec­tion was forced af­ter Goff was elected as Auck­land mayor in Oc­to­ber’s lo­cal body elec­tions.

It’s too soon to say how much the by-elec­tion will cost tax pay­ers, but the elec­toral com­mis­sion say it gen­er­ally costs around $900,000 vary­ing on the elec­torate.

The seat has his­tor­i­cally been a seat held by Labour and Goff has left big shoes to fill.

How­ever, there could be a shake up of not only Mt Roskill but also Par­lia­ment if Na­tional can­di­date Par­m­jeet Par­mar takes out Labour can­di­date Michael Wood.

The seats will re­main un­changed if Wood wins, how­ever as Par­mar is al­ready a list MP, if she wins it means the next Na­tional list MP also en­ters Par­lia­ment.

Man­gere’s Misa Fia Turner - num­ber 53 on Na­tional’s list - would en­ter Par­lia­ment.

Par­mar missed out on the 2014 elec­tion by just over 8000 votes to Goff.

Na­tional, how­ever se­cured the Mt Roskill party vote with 14,275 votes, 2000 more than Labour.

De­spite Na­tional win­ning the party vote, a quar­ter of Na­tional vot­ers also voted for Goff, se­cur­ing him the seat.

Goff was the MP for Mt Roskill from 1981 and aside from a three­year break be­tween 1990 and 1993, he has held on to the seat that whole time.

How­ever, it’s not only Par­mar and Wood who are stand­ing. Five other can­di­dates have thrown their hats in the ring.

They are In­de­pen­dent Tua Schus­ter, Roshan Nauhria from the NZ Peo­ple’s Party, Bran­don Strong from The Cannabis Party, An­drew Leitch from the Democrats for So­cial Credit and Not a Party’s Richard Goode.

The elec­torate is the most eth­ni­cally di­verse in the coun­try and in­cludes the Auck­land sub­urbs of Mt Roskill, Lyn­field, Wes­ley, Hills­bor­ough, and parts of Three Kings and San­dring­ham.

Those el­i­gi­ble to vote but aren’t en­rolled are still able to have their say if they en­rol by De­cem­ber 2.

More than 3000 peo­ple have al­ready voted and polls will close at 7pm on Saturday.

CHRIS SKEL­TON/FAIR­FAX NZ

Labour’s Michael Wood and Na­tional’s Par­m­jeet Par­mar at an elec­tion de­bate.

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