As TDB suggested, Winston Peters will be running in the Northland by-election.
The reason Winston has a shot is all to do with the Sabin issue. Once NZers know what Sabin is being investigated for, the backlash against National will be extreme and angry.
Winston will start using Parliamentary privilege to let NZ know why Sabin had to stand down. The conservative folk of Northland will be very open to Winston’s style of demagoguery once Sabin’s issues have been made public.
The question now is will Labour stand aside in Northland, a private poll by UMR has been doing the rounds and in a straight NZ First-National contest it’s 50-50.
If Labour can work with Winston in Northland it will ask questions why they couldn’t do it with Hone in Te Tai Tokerau. If Labour and NZ First work together it will also mean the Greens have their work cut out for them in 2017 to prevent Labour and NZ First screwing them again.
Any Labour-NZ First minority Government would be a blow to progressive politics.
There’s a lot riding on this by-election, Key would lose his ACT-Nat majority and have to offer United Future or the Maori Party into the majority, that could prevent many of National’s main policy planks this electoral term.
National have to win Northland or risk their entire political agenda being knocked out.