Judith Tizzard down but not out?

I saw this in the Herald today and it got me thinking:

If Ms Lee wins the byelection, the next person on National’s list, Cam Calder, will enter Parliament.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but electorate seats aren’t supposed to change the total number of seats a party gets (unless you win more than your party vote like the Maori party did). Labour avoided the “Vote Twyford, get Tizard” dilemma when Phil Tyford stepped aside. But the fact that the Greens will split Labours vote and give the fresh face of Melissa Lea a chance raises an interesting possibility.

If Melissa Lea wins the seat then her title will change from list MP to MP for Mt Albert, but National won’t get any extra seats in parliament. This will leave a vacant seat that Labour will have to fill by taking the next person on their list.

So is it “vote Lea get Tizzard” after all?

Update: Seems that if National wins they do get another seat – so a byelection can change the proportionality of parliament. Seems weird!

  • So a vote for any of the other parties is a vote for Tizard …

  • Nigel Pinkerton

    Yes you are right because if Norman gets it then the same thing will happen.

    I guess another way of putting it is a vote for Labour is a vote against Tizard.

    But she will probably make it back before the next election anyway, if anyone else resigns, gets sick or dies.

  • On this post on Kiwiblog Graeme Edgeler says that National does get an extra seat if they win …


    “Baron – it’s just how it’s done. You could have a system in whiche the allocation of list seats is re-done after a by-election, but we don’t. That’s not what the law requires or allows. Proportionality is only kept at general elections – at other times, it’s not.”

    So it sounds like this would lead to a change in the number of seats.

    I’m confused though – should the party vote always determine the make up of parliament …

  • It doesn’t make sense but if a list MP from any party wins his/her party gets another list MP, so they end up with one more MP in total but if the party which held the seat loses it, it doesn’t get a list MP so has one less MP in total.

    If you’ll allow the link, I discuss it here: http://homepaddock.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/bowscowan-act-candidate-for-mount-albert/#comments

  • Phew, no Tizard.

  • Nigel Pinkerton

    I finally managed to track down some information from an official source and it seems that a by election can indeed change the proportionality of parliment.

    Seems crazy since the best case senario for Labour is keeping the seats it has, but the other parties have a chance to win an extra one.

    Helen really screwed Labour over :).

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