With his announced decision that he will be walking away from his Hutt South seat to stand as a List only candidate in the 2017 election. In doing so he has anointed himself to be Speaker in the event that pigs fly.
One suspects he is reading the tea leaves. Hutt South has become 'gentrified'. Once fortress Labour their majority has been steadily whittled away to the point where Mallard won the seat last time round by just over 700 votes while, in the Party vote, National creamed Labour by almost 7,000 votes.
Mallard has acknowledged National's Chris Bishop as an effective campaigner who has an established profile in the electorate and an office deep in the Labour Party heartland of Wainuiomata. It is common wisdom that a good electorate MP (and Mallard is a good electorate MP) can attract a personal following of about 5%. Without those votes Bishop would have probably won last time round. Now they're up for grabs, This seat will be one to watch on election night.