Labour: No Epsom by-election

VERNON SMALL
Last updated 12:30 13/06/2014

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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."

He also called on Prime Minister John Key to mark Banks' last day as an MP by supporting a law change to scrap so-called coat-tailing provisions.

Coat-tailing allows parties that fall below the 5 per cent MMP threshold, but win an electorate seat, to claim a proportion of seats in the House.

"National needs to end the manipulation of the electoral system in Epsom - voters there have had enough," Cunliffe said.

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