Steve Hopkins at Stuff reports:
The announcement today ends speculation he would stand against John Banks in Auckland’s Epsom.
Craig says he was attracted to the challenge of taking on Banks, his former mayoral campaign rival, but he’s ”followed his heart by standing for the people” of Rodney.
”I’ve lived in Rodney and my business involvement here has spanned more than 20 years. Many of my family live here and I’m passionate about getting things moving for everyone in the region,” he says.
Craig’s father Ross Craig was a Rodney district councillor until the Auckland super city council was formed last year.
This is a much more sensible decision, than standing in Epsom would have been. Standing in Epsom would only have benefited Labour.
Craig appears to be seeking the same sort of voters as NZ First – socially conservative, and economically centrist. If NZ First does not make it back in, then in 2014 Craig has the possibility of picking up many of his voters. In 2011, it will be harder.
The Conservative Party claims polling in the area shows Craig is ahead of his nearest rival.
Meanwhile, further polling by the party claims to show Banks is struggling to win over Epsom voters.
Of those who had decided who they were likely to vote for as an electoral candidate in Epsom, 35.3 per cent say they would vote for the National candidate, 31.4 per cent would tick Banks, and 27.4 per cent say they would give their vote Craig if he was on the ballot paper.
So the Conservative Party claims it is ahead in Rodney? I’d love to see the name of the polling company they use for these polls, and what he exact questions were.
UPDATE: Act on Campus point out Craig was polling against the retiring MP, not the actual National candidate. He must literally have money to waste.
Personally I’m even more doubtful of a poll that says Craig would beat Lockwood if he was standing again.