Labour has confirmed it will not force a by-election in the Epsom electorate brought about by John Banks' resignation.
That gives the Government the required 75 per cent of votes in Parliament to leave the seat vacant until the general election on September 20.
Leader David Cunliffe said today it was not in the public interest to hold a by-election in the seat, made vacant by ACT MP John Bank's resignation, which takes effect today.
"A by-election so close to the general election would also be a waste of taxpayers' money," he said.
"I have written to the prime minister to inform him that Labour will support any motion to ensure there is no by-election in the electorate."
John Banks announced his intention to resign as at 5pm yesterday last Sunday. The Prime Minister immediately announced that National would seek Labour's support for there not to be an expensive and futile by-election.
What took David Cunliffe almost a week to decide to support the PM's request. Did he, like a child who pulls the wings off flies, want to twist the knife a little bit more on Mr Banks? Was he trying to show the Prime Minister that he is no push-over? Did he have to travel up and down the country asking Labour Party members for their opinions? Or is he simply incapable of making decisions.
That there should be no Epsom by-election was a no-brainer. There would barely be time to hold the by-election before Parliament rises for the Big Show. It would be a waste of taxpayer funds, and a waste of party resources; and from what we've been told, the Labour Party is already worried about its resources for fighting a General Election.
David Cunliffe ought to have been able to ring the PM immediately and agree to support his motion not to hold a by-election. If he can't make simple and obvious decisions such as this one on the hoof (although he can make up policy as he goes), how is Mr Cunliffe ever going to cope with the demands of being Prime Minister, and the decisions required there?