Are Act rooted II

The Sunday Star Times gets in on the ACT, slightly behind the news cycle but covering what is going on in Epsom. What they didn’t mention is why National needs ACT.

Much and all as I like Rodney, him remaining leader of ACT means they are rooted. He will lead them to oblivion, with only an outside chance of winning the Epsom seat and perhaps one more, but the poisoned pill of a Rodney lead ACT is not going to be swallowed by the public. This reduces the coalition options for National to some seriously unpalatable ones, or relies on them getting over 50% of the vote. Or 48% and having some spoilage. This is almost without precedent in New Zealand electoral history so it would be a ballsy move from National to gamble on this.

That said, National seems to have backed away somewhat from foisting Tim Groser on the politically savvy folk of Epsom and seem to be looking for an open selection. This is likely to be announced inside the next two weeks. With more than 700 members they pretty much have to have an open selection. They will need to select someone who will campaign hard for the party vote and be prepared to take one for the team should it be needed.

Of course the wild-card isWinston Peters, though i don’t believe the true blue voters of Epsom will fall for his charms. They know only too well the evil of that particular path. I simply can’t imagine the voters of Epsom picking Peters no matter what he says.

Without ACT, and if Chauvel beats Dunne in Ohariu, National have no natural coalition partners. The uneasy détente with the Maori Party will end in tears, and the Greens are so far removed from National’s world view it is difficult to see them doing anything other than what Andrew Wilkie is doing to Julia Gillard.

National also need to look to 2014. By then they will be heading down in the polls and without a coalition partner they will struggle to hold power. Without ACT in parliament they have few options.

So National need to consider how to keep ACT in parliament. The obvious thing to do is to offer Rodney a job overseas so he leaves with dignity and ACT can bring in a voter friendly leader who appeals to the public to run in Epsom. A good candidate in Epsom will bring a number of other ACT MPs into parliament, and give National options for government.

All of this though depends on the polls over the next few weeks as John Key and the paymasters of Act review the numbers.


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  • abjv

    Rodney knows a lot about sorting out local government issues. Give him the job as CERA Christchurchenfuhrer. (yeah, right).

  • whafe

    In all honesty, if Rodney knew anything at all, he would get the fuck out of dodge and help transition a new ACT leader into the fray, time is short, 6 months out, no time to piss around…

    As Cam mentions, of which I fully agree, there will be very few if any ACT voters in Epsom that will vote Winston I am a BULLSHITTER Peters…..

  • peterwn

    It is the National Party members in Epsom who need to decide this – they must have ‘ownership’ of the decision weighing the various interests involved. Otherwise it will be damaging to National. In a way much of the blame for the present situation falls on the ACT Party in not getting their act together.

    If I was in John Key’s shoes I would seriously consider pulling the plug on ACT and proclaim that a vote for ACT is effectively a vote for Labour. The end effect may be only the loss of 1-2 ‘right’ seats as most of the ACT vote will migrate to National.

    A coalition with the Maori Party would be fragile but has a good chance of lasting three years especially with Hone out of the picture. Unfortunately National will need to make some meaningful concessions to the Maori Party but this is a fact of life under MMP.

    The biggest potential problem for National is some traditional supporters becoming disaffected by National’s current policies. Regrettably John Key and co have very little room to manoeuvre. A ‘protest’ vote for another party or abstention on election day is effectively a half to one vote for Labour. National’s campaign needs to make this starkly clear.

  • bobcat

    These two posts read like repeating the repeaters. Sub-par for you. The private poll? The goss is that it was a classic push poll : eg, given Hide took girlfriend on holiday with usual MP subsidy, would u vote for him or Banks or Brash etc. In short, bullshit. Have u checked that out?

    Can u imagine how much fun u could have doing a push poll on the two Bs. So much to choose from.

    So, what do we really know? ACT is polling low (1.7pc on tv3 poll tonight) which is not unusual for ACT between elections, and not too surprising given the nasty internal shitfight. It was u who revealed the bizarre fantasies of the then deputy, as she and her associates shopped nasty stuff around people like yourself.

    On the face of it, you would expect the usual tactical voting from Nats in Epsom to deliver another comfortable win for Hide. Most of them understand that the Nats need a partner in govt, and at least Hide and ACT is a known quantity to the Nats. And they don’t want another term having to deliver pork to e Maori party.

  • kehua

    Who gives a shit about Act or Winston or the `g`reens, tonight we see a poll giving National 70 seats and Liabour 37. Nuff said, read it and weep Pinkos/Actoids and just to rub their noses in it toss in a couple of Associate Ministers from the Maori Party. Whoopdy die let`s have a Party.

  • cadwallader

    Kehua: Where does the poll you refer to have Winston? Whatever else occurs we can’t have that prick back!

  • mattyroo

    What needs to happen is that someone from the hard right stands in Epsom under the NZ First brand. Take the seat then orchestrate a reverse takeover of NZF, kicking Winnie to the kerb in the process. Rebrand NZF as a right leaning party, keeping the grey vote and you’ll have over 5% in 2014.

    Explain all this to the smart voters in Epsom and they will go along with my grand scheme.

    Unfortunately brand ACT is too fucked to carry on as it is. Coddington and her ilk have succeeded in destroying, because they didn’t get the party to go in the direction they wanted.

  • reid

    The obvi­ous thing to do is to offer Rod­ney a job over­seas so he leaves with dig­nity and ACT can bring in a voter friendly leader who appeals to the pub­lic to run in Epsom.

    Whereas the principles that ACT enunciates state that such venal actions are wrong. I wonder what will happen here.

  • piginmud

    There is absolutly no way the Winston is going to stand in Epsom and you know it Cam.

    Epsom is the worst electorate in the country for NZ First – a highly educated, wealthy, socially liberal electorate, with an unusually low number of retired voters. With Asian and Indian voters making up 30% of the electorate, Winston would be lucky to beat the New Citizens Party,

    Winston would never put himself in a position that would allow the possiblity of him losing to Rodney Hide.

    If he stands at all, it will be in a seat like Hunua – rural fringe, lots of rednecks, backbench Nat Mp on his last legs.

  • spiker

    Well with Collins & National looking to screw over E cat firearms owners I guess I’ll be back to voting for ACT, Rodney or not.

  • lordmontrose

    Roger Douglas for Epsom!