"Why is that?" we hear you asking? Well, David Parker won't be getting beaten for a third time by Jacqui Dean. He's moved north, and is expected to be confirmed as the Labour Party's candidate for Epsom in the next few days, in all probability unopposed. Journalist Felix Marwick supposedly broke the story yesterday on Twitter:
@felixmarwick Felix MarwickLabour frontbencher David Parker seeking party nomination to stand in Epsom
Felix Marwick is a bit behind the times however. Once again, the Vast Right Wing Comspiracy broke the story the day before. Both David "Happy Feet" Farrar and Cameron "WhaleOil" Slater had the goss on Tuesday; WhaleOil blogged:
Labour is being silly again accusing National of a stitch up in the Epsom selection. It would be funny if it wasn’t so outrageous that a party with the selection processes of Labour complains about a system where there are a minimum of 60 delegates each with their own mind and their own vote. The only party that has stitch ups for selections is Labour.Never mind that it appears Labour is doing it’s own stitch up in Epsom by parachuting in David Parker.
Now, David Parker is a Southern Man. Quite how he will cope in the Big Smoke is anyone's bet, but he has a huge task ahead of him; Epsom is bluer than blue. Just take a look at the 2008 election result; Rodney Hide won the seat with 21,102 votes. National's Richard Worth came second with 8,220 votes and Labour's Kate Sutton was a distant third on 5,112 votes, just 13.5% of the total votes cast. In the Party Votes stakes, Labour fared little better, with just 20% of the vote; well below its national percentage.
So why is Parker putting his career on the line when history suggests that he will become a three-time loser? We can't answer that. Personal reasons have been cited for his move; his partner works for an Auckland-based MP. But it does seem a bit odd that Labour is accusing National of a stitch-up in Epsom when the Labour Party can't even attract a credible local candidate, and has to fly in a leadership aspirant to fill a gaping hole.
And surely David Parker will be aware of this salient fact; since the first MMP election, every New Zealand Prime Minister and all but one Opposition Leader have been electorate MP's. Don Brash is the only exception to that rule. This is a very interesting move by Labour and by David Parker, but we suspect that it will be an exercise in futility.