Hold your noses Epsom | The Jackal

30 Aug 2017

Hold your noses Epsom

There's an elephant in the room of New Zealand’s politics, and it’s called the dirty deal. Dirty deals are when a party asks voters to support a different parties candidate, in order to game the MMP system.

One particularly bad dirty deal is in the Epsom electorate, where Act party leader David Seymour is holding on by the skin of his teeth. If he loses his single seat at this election, Act will be gone from Parliament, probably forever.

It hasn’t been easy for the Act party, who’ve been plagued by a number of controversies over the years.

So how likely is it that they will survive?

At the last election Act received a mere 0.69% of the party vote and their electorate vote was similarly pathetic as a percentage of the total. More recently, in the last few Culmar Brunton polls the Act party gained only 0.3% or 0.4% support. The average for the last six polls has the unpopular party on just 0.5%. If the 0.69% to 0.5% decline is reflected in the Epsom electorate, the Act party will be goneburgers.

On 0.5%, the shift away from the Act party would put Seymour on approximately 32% of the electorate vote. This isn’t enough to keep Seymour in the seat. Last election he gained 43% of the electorate vote, because of the dirty deal.

Combine that swing away from Act with the possibility a Labour and Green’s voter block in Epsom will vote more tactically this time round, and things are looking pretty bleak for the incumbent.

The Act party hasn’t been doing themselves any favours either.

Despite the mainstream media providing Seymour with a disproportionate amount of airtime, he's failed to gain any real traction in this election campaign. One reason is there are too many major scandals going on for a minor sideshow like Seymour to gain any attention. Another reason is Act’s policy ideas simply suck!

Even the Christians are wary of the barking chihuahua.

Yesterday, NZ Catholic reported:

Act now to oppose Act Party leader's euthanasia push, bishop urges

Palmerston North Bishop Charles Drennan has encouraged his flock to voice their opposition to Act Party leader David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill.

In a pastoral letter dated July 13 published on the diocese’s website, Bishop Drennan listed his observations against the bill which he described as “unkiwi, unethical, and unprogressive”.

“Please let your voice be heard, and indicate to your MP your opposition to this backward bill,” he stated.

Couple those issues with active hostility between Seymour and Steven Joyce as well as some old Act MP’s recently being in the news for all the wrong reasons, and Epsom certainly could be the big upset on election night.

However there’s other factors that will likely mean Seymour fails to make the grade.

Yesterday, the Daily Blogger reported:

The electorates to watch this election

Seymour holds onto Epsom because National voters let him have it. If Green and Labour voters who waste their electorate vote on their local candidate instead used it to tactically vote for Paul Goldsmith,  then National would accidentally win Epsom and Seymour would be kicked out of Parliament. Seymour’s strong support of Euthanasia has put him offside with the electorates Asian community. Where the large Conservative Party vote goes to will also impact things.

Although not as strong in a seat like Epsom, the Jacinda effect needs to be taken into account. A small degree of swing towards Labour will likely occur in this conservative electorate, being that Ardern has widespread appeal. A majority of Asian and Christian voters will also be looking for alternatives to the Act party.

How that translates for the electorate vote in Epsom is yet to be seen, but it’s certainly worth Labour’s time to encourage their supporters to tactically give their electorate vote to Paul Goldsmith. I would encourage all Green and Maori voters to hold their noses and do the same.