National's party list has been released this morning, and there are, as always, winners and losers. National has announced a full list of 75 candidates, few of whom are list-only; the majority of National's candidates are also standing in electorates. The Herald has the full list here.
Present polling suggests that a very good number of the names from this list will be MP's after the General Election on 26 November. Even Tau Henare, described by the Herald as National's "biggest loser" should be safe. In any event, Henare has a reasonable show of winning the Te Atatu electoral contest against Phil Twyford in a seat where National won the party vote race in 2008. Chris Carter was a popular local MP, and Twyford may struggle to hold Carter's electorate margin if there is a backlash against Labour for Carter's expulsion. Let's face it; a year on, Carter's observations about Phil Goff's inability to win the election are being bourne out by poll after poll, and Labour's caucus is deeply divided.
And whilst Tau Henare might have gone in the wrong direction, there have been significant promotions for four of National's female MP's. Paula Bennett rises from 41st to 14th, Kate Wilkinson from 30th to 17th, Hekia Parata from 36th to 18th and Amy Adams from 52nd to 28th. Adams seems certain to be rewarded with a ministerial portfolio should National be able to form a government after the election. Simon Bridges, Michael Woodhouse and Nikki Kaye are other first-term MP's to make big moves up the list.
There are no new "big ticket" candidates on the list. As always there have been plenty of rumours about a surpise inclusion, but they have come to nought. And with Lockwood Smith deciding to relinquish his Rodney electorate, we're delighted to see that he has been rewarded for three years of outstanding service as the Speaker of the House with thrid place on National's list.
National has picked its team to contest the 2011 General Election. Let the contest begin!