Politics briefs: Friday February 1

Last updated 05:00 01/02/2013
David Carter
FairfaxNZ
DAVID CARTER: Named as the Government's nominee to become Speaker when Lockwood Smith leaves.

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Brief flurry over Labour's doomed nomination

Speculation had been rife in the hours before David Shearer named Labour's nomination for Speaker. As the media gathered to hear his decision, National list MP Tau Henare appeared at the other end of the deserted corridor, causing a brief flurry. At the last minute, Mr Henare veered off into the cafe, leaving Mr Shearer to announce that Trevor Mallard would take a bullet for the team in the inevitable loss to the Government's nomination, David Carter.

Very organised Key may set election in advance

Prime Minister John Key started setting election dates well in advance and says he’ll possibly do it again. In 2011 Mr Key announced in February that the general election would be held that November. Now Australia’s Julia Gillard has given that country ample notice and announced the election there will be held this September. Mr Key said yesterday that he hadn’t decided, but it was a sensible decision to give plenty of notice last time.

Little shift in latest opinion poll results

National’s support is unchanged in the latest Roy Morgan poll. The poll puts National’s support at 46 thper cent, while Labour’s support is also unchanged on two weeks ago on 31.5 per cent. The Greens are up 1.5 per cent, to 13.5 per cent, and NZ First is sitting on 5.5. None of the other minor parties get past 1.5 per cent.

Low-rating backbencher sends surprise email

Members of the press gallery were astonished to see a press release from Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi pop into their inboxes yesterday. The usually invisible National backbencher wanted to emphasise the importance of the turban after a Sikh restaurant employee had his removed by a drunken tourist. Perhaps he has taken his low ranking in the  Trans Tasman political newsletter to heart.  Last year, it ranked him among its five worst politicians.

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