John Armstrong in NZ Herald reports:
Act is putting even more emphasis on National’s need for a reliable coalition partner to persuade local voters to allow it to keep its toehold in Parliament despite its basement-level support in nationwide polls..
Act’s new president, John Boscawen told the party’s weekend conference that if Act was not back in 2014 in even bigger numbers, National woulds be dependent on either the Maori Party or NZ First “or worse still, both of them”.
“The people of Epsom have huge power and have used it very wisely.”
Mr Boscawen said that as president he would go out and about with John Banks every week on to the streets of Epsom, into the shops and on to the doorsteps, and constantly remind Epsom voters of how crucial their vote was in securing a further three years of National government.
Many people do not realise this, but if National had won Epsom, then Labour would have gained an additional List MP. This would have meant a hung Parliament.
- National 59 and United Future 1 = 60
- Labour 35 + Greens 14 + NZ First 8 + Mana 1 = 58
- Maori = 3
The Maori Party would have held the balance of power if National had won either Epsom or Ohariu.
Of course that doesn’t mean that will automatically be the same scenario in 2014, but if things are close again, then individual seats may be very important.
The reason Labour would gain an extra seat, is because the currently sit on the 121st quotient. If ACT failed to qualify for allocation, then effectively their quotient goes to the party that was closest to next getting an MP. National has the 120th quotient and Labour the 121st, so Labour would have benefited from ACT’s demise.