Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Maharey and by-elections

DPF asks when can Maharey resign from Parliament while avoiding a by-election? As he points out, a vacancy within six months of the expiry of Parliament doesn't necessarily lead to a by-election. But while he quotes the law and gets the date right, he misses a vital point: a by-election can only be avoided if

a resolution that a writ not be issued to supply the vacancy is passed by a majority of 75 percent of all the members of the House of Representatives
What this means is that National can force a by-election if they actually want one. Whether they do or not will become apparent when Maharey actually resigns, but it's perhaps something the mob DPF is dog-whistling might like to remember.

The really interesting question, of course, is what happens on the confidence front after Maharey goes. While Labour will be safe thanks to the Greens' abstention, things will be tight, and they may need to shift the Greens or Maori Party over into the positive column to be certain.