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National face scramble to find candidate for 'poisoned chalice' seat: 1 NEWS political reporter

National face a scramble to find a candidate for the "poisoned chalice" Clutha-Southland seat says 1 NEWS political reporter Benedict Collins.

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The Clutha-Southland seat, soon to be called just Southland, is becoming a poisoned chalice for National, says Benedict Collins. Source: 1 NEWS

It comes as Hamish Walker today announced he won't be contesting the seat at the upcoming election, having yesterday fessed up to leaking Covid-19 patient details to the media.

"We are expecting a quick turnaround on the investigation by Michael Heron QC and by the end of July we should know exactly who knew what and when and exactly how Michelle Boag got her hands on the information," Collins said.

"At the same time the National Party has to scramble to find a candidate for the Clutha-Southland seat.

"It’s supposed to be a National safe seat but it’s turning into a bit of a poisoned chalice, their last two MPs Todd Barclay and now Hamish Walker have resigned in disgrace before serving out a single term."

"The National Party is hoping it will be third time lucky," Collins concluded.

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The National leader cannot afford any slip ups in the lead-up to the Election where’ll he face a popular PM, says Maiki Sherman. Source: 1 NEWS

1 NEWS political reporter Maiki Sherman also gave her opinion on where National goes from here.

"Public outrage over this came thick and fast including from within the party’s own ranks," she said.

"On the one hand Todd Muller moved quickly and decisively to clean up this mess today and says that Hamish Walker was acting alone, on the other hand he cannot afford for mistakes like this to happen so close to the election.

"He will have some stern words with MPs around his expectations."