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Key sets date for Mt Roskill by-election

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/10/2016

A by-election will be held in Mt Roskill on December 3 if Phil Goff resigns from parliament this week, Prime Minister John Key has announced.

Mr Goff became Auckland's new mayor on Saturday and is expected to resign his Mt Roskill seat on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The Labour MP has held the seat since 1981 and retained it in 2014 with a majority of more than 8000 votes.

However, National won more party votes than Labour.

Mr Key says although it will be difficult for National to take the seat he isn't writing off its chances.

"We've never won a seat from the opposition in a by-election," he told reporters on Monday.

"But we'll give it a good go."

The Greens aren't going to put up a candidate, which enhances Labour's chances.

Mr Key says he doesn't think National's partner party ACT will stand in the by-election, but that won't make much difference.

ACT didn't put up a candidate in the last general election and won only 610 party votes in Mt Roskill.

Labour has chosen its candidate, Michael Wood, and National is due to choose its contender on October 19.

It's expected to be local list MP Parmjeet Parmar.

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