Adam Dudding from Fairfax explains why it is that National won’t do a deal with Colin Craig.
It is pretty simple really…the damage of such a deal is worse than the consequences of no deal.
Key’s decision on whether to indulge the supplicant or not (which he’s promised to reveal this week) depends partly on how desperately National needs an extra seat.
But last weekend, the calculation grew more complex: NZ First leader Winston Peters hinted that if National and the Conservatives got cute in East Coast Bays, he might run in the electorate himself. And given the old rogue’s mysterious allure, this could stuff things up for National and Craig.
With Craig’s Conservative Party last week polling nationally at 1.3 per cent, this is his only serious option for making it to Parliament.
A quick and dirty assessment by the Sunday Star-Times suggests things aren’t a great deal better in the electorate itself.
On Friday afternoon we set up an informal polling booth at Browns Bay’s La Tropezienne bakery/cafe, in which customers were given a marble and invited to drop it in the jar of their preferred candidate.
By yesterday afternoon, 53 marbles had been cast: 34 for McCully, seven for Peters and just one for Craig.
Six, four and one marble respectively were cast for Labour’s Greg Milner-White, Green Teresa Moore and “other”.
The result is horribly unscientific, yet the figure for McCully is startlingly similar to McCully’s 64.98 per cent electoral result in 2011, and that single marble for Craig is – well, a little tragic.