The Dim-Post

December 19, 2009

Edgeler bait

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 8:19 am

What would happen if Hide resigned from Parliament and National won the subsequent Epsom by-election? Would all the ACT MPs vanish or would they remain until the general election in 2011?


  1. My understanding is that they stay as MPs.

    Comment by Gooner — December 19, 2009 @ 8:34 am

  2. Edgeler bait is also known to attract the odd Farrar and RWNJ’s.

    Its a political burley bomb, Caveat Emptor!

    Comment by andy (the other one) — December 19, 2009 @ 8:36 am

  3. I think that since the writs were returned and they were declared elected, that is it under the next election. However, the political consequences can only be imagined. One would hope that is such circumstance the ACT rump would start looking for private secotr jobs and resign as soon as they could…

    Not that the light of reality has intruded into the darkening madness of bold Sir Roger since about 1988.

    Oh! Here is another Edgler question. What would happen if a party so thoroughly disintegrates that no one on their party list is willing to enter parliament on the resignation of a list MP? Is the seat left vacant? I assume it would be?

    Comment by Sanctuary — December 19, 2009 @ 8:43 am

  4. @sanctuary – I would assume so. If Bill and Ben had got to 5%, they would have only taken up two seats and their remaining allocation would have been unfilled. I have faith that the rules wouldn’t contradict so much as to do something different during the term.

    Comment by dakvid — December 19, 2009 @ 9:08 am

  5. I was wondering that myself, no doubt GE will correct me if I`m wrong, but I don’t imagine parliament will reallocate list seats to other parties if one of two electorate MPs, out of say five representatives of a party resigned and was unsuccessful in a by-election, meaning list MPs were out of a job but the other electorate MP wasn’t. But what if NZF won the seat, would it bring in a handful of MPs in an already overhung parliament?

    OTOH, if ACT was wiped from parliament if Hide was to quit, and the seats were not reallocated, it would be an interesting way to reduce the overhang to the extent that we`d have an underhang.

    @sanctuary, just as a party that creates an overhang by getting more seats than the number of party votes it is entitled to, so a party that gets a greater share of the party vote than it has list members who want to enter parliament creates an underhang. So, in your example, if no one is willing to enter parliament, the number of seats reduces by one.

    Comment by dave — December 19, 2009 @ 10:03 am

  6. Arrgh, pushed send to early, “to the extent that we`d have an underhang” would only be true if the reduction of MPs numbers is greater than a current parliamentary overhang.

    Comment by dave — December 19, 2009 @ 10:06 am

  7. You don’t need an Edgeler. (Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a left-wing lawyer who’d come and answer questions. I guess they’re all to busy with paid work…)

    s191 of the Electoral act specifies the steps to select List MPs *after a General Election*. This process only happens then, not after a by-election that’s changed the makeup of electorate members. So if Hide were to go and Winston Peters were to win Epsom (!) ACT would keep their list MPs and NZF wouldn’t get any.

    Also, s137 specifies what happens when no candidate on a party list can be found – the seat remains vacant. The party list is that from the pevious election – it can’t be changed (parties can and do get candidates to voluntarily drop out so that a person lower on the list can be elected, however). In the unlikely event a party collapsed to the point that it no longer had any members, then the seat would remain vacant – but the existing MPs would keep their seats, the waka-jumping provisions having expired some years ago.

    Comment by Rich — December 19, 2009 @ 11:30 am

  8. How am I not a left-wing lawyer … do you know my current area of practice?


    Everyone appears to be correct.

    If no-one wants to (or is able to) fill a vacant list seat it remains vacant.

    A by-election only changes that seat – even if that creates disproportionality (e.g. when Tariana Turia won Te Tai HauńĀuru, Labour didn’t get an extra list seat to replace the one it lost).

    If an MP wins a by-election, or is declared elected following an election petition, the rest of Parliament doesn’t change (even when that’s really stupid).

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — December 19, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  9. Got em!!!

    Comment by andy (the other one) — December 19, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

  10. Did somebody mention Bill and Ben? Not sure we will be seeing them stand for anything or appear on the TV ever again.

    Comment by Barnsley Bill — December 19, 2009 @ 11:24 pm

  11. My understanding is that ACT MPs disappear into a puff of smoke when you throw holy water on them. That is the only reliable way to make them disappear between elections.

    Comment by George Darroch — December 20, 2009 @ 10:02 am

  12. Something about steaks and crossroads. Rodney must have some kind of immunity, or Logan Brown would have done for him long ago..

    Comment by Rich — December 20, 2009 @ 11:24 am

  13. Rich – Graeme’s political inclinations are irrelevant. I could nicely fill your left wing lawyer slot if you want, but unlike Graeme I didn’t work at the electoral commission specialising in how the bloody Electoral Act works for a year. He knows what he’s talking about in an area most lawyers wouldn’t have a clue about. Appreciate Edge’s expertise for what it is.

    Comment by Eddie Clark — December 20, 2009 @ 7:50 pm

  14. He won’t leave the gravy train by choice!

    There is no public trough outside Parliament for him to get his snout so deeply in.

    Comment by Chris R — December 21, 2009 @ 12:41 pm

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