It is the time of the electoral cycle when the smallest of Parliament’s parties start to have existential crises. These are real crises for Act and United Future, given they look into the abyss of extinction every three years.
There is precious little oxygen in the rarefied atmosphere inhabited by Government support parties. If evidence was needed it came this week when Dunne tried to remind people of his existence by issuing a press statement setting out the three policy themes he would be focusing on in the lead-up to the 2017 election. The themes were: an economy that provides fairness, choice and opportunity; establishing core environmental bottom lines; and embracing and celebrating a modern, multi-cultural New ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz.
It was effectively a campaign launch. It fell with the impact of a feather.
It is a tricky time for the leaders of the two parties. Act and United Future are dependent on either wooing 5 per cent of voters to get into Parliament or on keeping a grip on an electorate seat.
Neither has come close to the 5 per cent mark for some time and nor are they likely to. In both cases, the electorate seat deal is the only option.
Both Dunne and Seymour are all but guaranteed to be back in the next parliament, and their existential crisis is but a media mirage. It is clear that neither is likely to get 5% for United Future or ACT. So, the only risky thing is that their sugar daddy, National, is going to drop support. Read more »