The jokes that David Shearer sees South Sudan as a safer place than the Labour Party caucus are already wearing thin.
As revealed by the Herald, a Mt Albert byelection will be called when he is confirmed this week as the UN Secretary General's choice to head the UN mission in war-torn South Sudan.
But there is no chance of an early general election, despite a call by Labour leader Andrew Little to have one instead of the byelection.
Barring any major political mishap, when Bill English becomes the new Prime Minister next week, he will have no incentive to go to the polls early.
He will want time to put his own mark on the Government.
Under MMP, it's the party vote that counts and National already has a mandate to govern.
There is certainly no moral imperative to seek a fresh mandate.
English would do well, however, to follow John Key's practice for the past two elections and announce at the start of the year when he intends to hold the 2017 general election.
Knowing the election date well in advance allows people to plan their lives and enchances a sense of stability and predictability.
The former Labour leader has harboured a justified resentment at his treatment by the party.
He was certainly the only leader in recent memory actively undermined by his party organisation. He resigned in 2013 before a scheduled no-confidence motion in him was passed.
He may also be the most qualified Foreign Minister we never had.
He is Labour's foreign affairs spokesman and the chances of him getting the real job were enhanced by John Key's decision to resign as Prime Minister.
But they were still less than even chances.
Labour will not be able to lead a Government without Winston Peters' New Zealand First and the price of any coalition could well be his old job, Foreign Minister.
The question of who replaces him is a no-brainer. Labour front-bencher Jacinda Ardern would be a fool not to go for it.
She may still hanker after Auckland Central having reduced Nikki Kaye's majority to just 600.
But Ardern lives in the electorate and if she is the future of the party, she needs a safe seat.
The Labour Party list is definitely not a safe place to be.