The Hutt News - - FRONT PAGE -

orn­ing!’’ comes a call from the end of the train bridge. ‘‘Hope I didn’t get you out of bed too early.’’

It is 6:25am and Na­tional Party MP Chris Bishop has beaten the birds out of bed to pass out leaflets to com­muters at Woburn rail­way sta­tion.

As the bleary-eyed com­muters trickle into the sta­tion, he of­fers each one a ‘‘good morn­ing’’, and a leaflet em­bla­zoned with his name, face and the slo­gan ‘‘Work­ing hard for the Hutt’’.

‘‘Work­ing hard’’ might be right. Bishop has been a near ubiq­ui­tous pres­ence at events all over Hutt South since the last elec­tion.

Part of his cam­paign strat­egy is to be ev­ery­where and he has been ro­tat­ing through Hutt South’s train sta­tions three days a week since Fe­bru­ary. By cov­er­ing as much ground as he can, he gets max­i­mum ex­po­sure to the elec­torate and can meet as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble.

This is Bishop’s sec­ond cam­paign for the seat, hav­ing been beaten in 2014 by Labour’s Trevor Mal­lard who has held the seat since its for­ma­tion in 1996.

He pushed Mal­lard close in the last elec­tion. The num­ber 709 is burnt into the back of his mind - it is the num­ber of votes he lost by in 2014.

‘‘I think I led for about 10 min­utes,’’ he laments.

Bishop sits at num­ber 40 on Na­tional’s list which puts him in a likely po­si­tion to keep his job, but he de­sires to be the Hutt South MP.

‘‘I’d def­i­nitely pre­fer to be an

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