ACT’s strategy towards NZ First is remarkable

New Zealand First members putting around rumours about Winston Peters should put up proof or shut up, ACT leader David Seymour says

“If these people including former candidates have proof of their serious allegations they should release it to the public. Otherwise they should shut up and let Winston Peters be judged on his very public record of failure as a minister and as a source of instability in every government he has joined.”

“We don’t need to hear any rumours to know what will happen if New Zealand First is in a position to join a government after Saturday’s election.”

“The truth is Winston Peters has never made it through a full three year term in any ministerial portfolio. And he never will.”

“He was sacked by Jim Bolger in 1991. He was sacked by Jenny Shipley in 1998. He resigned his portfolios in 2008 when he was investigated by the Serious Fraud Office, and only remained a minister in the sense of keeping the title, the baubles and the luxury cars.”

“He has been avoiding public debates on TV and in his electorate. He was incoherent on Radio New Zealand last week, and proved his performance and his policies can’t bear 20 minutes of scrutiny, let alone three whole years.”

“A vote for New Zealand First is a vote for instability and a vote for a government that’s doomed to collapse, whether National or Labour-led.”

“Voters wanting a strong and stable centre-right government must vote ACT, which would give the centre-right a clear majority on last week’s Reid Research poll, without having to invite in Winston Peters to burn the whole house down.”

TOP associated people launched the rumour Winston Peters was facing serious health problems.  ACT jumped on it like white on rice and started to demand Peters ‘fess up.  They are now suggesting it is NZ First people that are undermining Winston.  Yeah, right.

That’s ridiculous of course, but that’s politics.  You never know what might do the trick.

But ACT have been bringing out daily hit jobs on Winston since.  Which begs a bit of analysis.

ACT are between a rock and a hard place really.  They know that if National and NZ First can make a government without ACT, Winston will insist on keeping ACT on the outer.  No cabinet positions.

And yet, that’s not too different from what they have right now.

And in the unlikely event National and NZ First do need ACT, they will probably stick them on Confidence and Supply with a few policy concessions.  But again, no real difference to what ACT has had from John Key’s National.

So that leaves the only other option:  That ACT think they can poach voters directly from NZ First, or even reduce NZ First’s influence to the point where National and NZ First cannot make a government.

But somehow, the idea that National and ACT can do so without Winston has very, very long odds.

It’s probably better to campaign for good reasons to vote ACT instead of anyone else.  Constantly muck raking against Winston really does not have any positive outcome for ACT under any likely scenario.  There is an opportunity cost to going negative on a likely coalition partner.  I can’t figure out how ACT will benefit from it.



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