Tolley is already assistant speaker so this move isn’t a huge surprise in my opinion.
The fact that she’s going on just the list also means that should National not win the 2020 election, Tolley could resign quietly without a costly by-election following her failure to become speaker.
That’s a cynical way of looking at it, but there’s been a trend of high profile National list MPs doing just that this term. Bill English, Chris Finlayson, and Steven Joyce are the main examples.
Moving to pure speculation, the electorate that Tolley will leave is the East Coast electorate. That’s also the electorate where Labour list MP Kiri Allan is based.
Allan has the greatest asset an MP can have in bucket loads – charisma. I know, because she was the first MP that I interviewed in the podcast that kicked this whole blogging thing off.
While I don’t know how those in the East Coast electorate feel (if you live there, tell me) but I’m willing to bet that Allan can at the very least put a sizable dent in Tolley’s majority of 4800. In fact, going against someone that isn’t an incumbent, I think there’s a chance that Allan could pull of an upset and win the electorate.
Definitely one to keep an eye on in 2020.