Will ACT chuck in the Northland by-election?

At least David Seymour isn’t saying one thing and meaning something else, like Angry little Andy.

ACT is considering telling its supporters in Northland to vote National – although it has its own candidate in the field.

The help might not amount to much – in last year’s election the ACT candidate won just 200 votes – but leader David Seymour says he’ll do what he can to maintain a stable government.

“Last weekend I was telling people they should vote for the ACT candidate,” he told reporters?…

“However, we are monitoring the situation very closely and it’s important people think about the strategic realities – that means retaining the seat for National.”

Mr Seymour says if Winston Peters wins Northland, the National/ACT alliance in parliament will depend on United Future’s Peter Dunne or the Maori Party for a majority.

“That wouldn’t be good for Resource Management Act reforms which are critical for Northland, or reducing taxes and returning to surplus,” he said.

It’s a little amusing, but the truth is that for some time now ACT voters have been better served by a National government. ?At least this time it’s obviously stated as such. ?

“Shifting the balance of power towards Peter Dunne or the Maori Party is the last thing that centre-right voters in Northland would like.”

ACT’s candidate is local orchardist Robin Grieve, who hasn’t shown up on opinion polls and has no chance of winning the seat.

Mr Seymour says the strategic realities are pretty clear to everyone and he could decide to throw ACT’s support behind National.

“It’s important for our own party to poll well but if we feel that’s at the risk of changing the balance of parliament, that’s what we will do.”

Labour has Willow-Jean Prime in the race but party leader Andrew Little has given her supporters the message that it’s alright with him if they back Mr Peters.

Here’s what happened during the last general election.


Seems to me that this could come down to a “National?vs everyone else” election.

In that case, Focus New Zealand should not risk a result that would run against its wishes and follow ACT in declaring its supporters vote for National also.

The most absurd part of this whole thing is that?National needs this win to ensure its minnow?coalition partners don’t get to set the government’s agenda for the next 2 years, in spite of National having been returned with the largest majority in MMP history.

We often blame Winston at being the king maker, but it appears Dunne, as a party of one, could soon be one of the most powerful men in New Zealand politics.


-?Peter Wilson, NZN