Did Tony Milne know he was going to be Labour's Central Christchurch candidate long before he was actually selected?
Milne will take on the present incumbent, National's Nicky Wagner. With Wagner only having a majority of 47 and with the electoral boundary changes favouring Labour, Milne is all set to waltz off to Wellington as Christchurch Central's new MP and collect his big fat six figure salary (plus expenses). Wagner herself has conceded that the seat is unwinnable for National.
But did Milne always have the 'inside running' for the job? It looks that way.
Milne worked for Tim Barnett from 2003 to 2008. Barnett was appointed Labour's general secretary in 2012.
Tim helped out his old mate Tony by making him 'spokesperson' for Christchurch Central although he insisted that didn't necessarily mean that Milne was going to be chosen as the candidate as well. But that is exactly what has happened.
Milne's selection has the smell of a stitch up about it, and both Dann and Smith are probably wondering why they bothered to put their names forward. All they did was give the 'selection' process some respectability.
Yesterday Milne tweeted a photo of himself and his team waving his new election placards about. The photo was taken on Tuesday (March 11).
So in the space of just one working day after his selection Milne had professionally produced election signs all ready to go.
On Twitter Milne explains the rapid appearance of his election material as the work of 'a good team who are on to it' which actually doesn't explain anything. The suspicion is that these signs were ordered and produced before Milne was chosen as Labour's candidate.
And Milne would of only done that if he knew that his selection as Labour's Christchurch Central candidate was a fait accompli. Did someone tip him the wink?