National is holding a meeting in Auckland suburb Mt Albert this evening to select its candidate - but someone in the party has already decided who it is going to be.
The National Party Mainland Conference agenda lists Mt Albert candidate MP Melissa Lee as a speaker.
The by-election to fill the seat left vacant by former Prime Minister Helen Clark, who held it for 27 years, takes place on June 13. Nominations close on May 19.
However, the ever-reliable Ele at Homepaddpock tells a different story - compare this (our emphasis added):
But it’s the paper that’s got it wrong. I’ve got a copy of the official programme and it says:
Address by Mt Albert’s List MP Melissa Lee.
Note the difference between Mount Albert candidate which she may or may not be after tonight’s selection, and Mount Albert’s list MP which she is.
The programme notes her position as buddy MP for the electorate which isn’t represented by National, it’s not second guessing the selection process.
And as she breathlessly told the nation about the "jack-up that isn't", Fran Mold actually read out the words "Mt Albert List MP" from the National Party papers she had "obtained", shooting herself in the foot in the process!
No wonder the MSM is held in such contempt ....
UPDATE: WhaleOil confirms the selection of Melissa Lee tonight as the National Party candidate - it's game on!