The HoS reports:
The Act Party wants National supporters to save it from oblivion at next year’s election, telling them it needs not just one, but two Parliamentary seats.
I think they would be better to target the party vote. At 1.25 they get a second MP.
Now, former Act president Chris Simmons is eying the blue-ribbon electorate of Pakuranga, in East Auckland – but he has a battle on his hands.
National’s Maurice Williamson, the local MP since 1987 and now a minister outside cabinet, had considered standing down to contest the Auckland mayoral election.
But yesterday, he said he was not going anywhere and would not stand aside for anyone.
“I welcome any challengers,” he said. “Rumours that I won’t be standing are completely baseless.”
Entrepreneur Simmons told the Herald on Sunday he hoped to stand again in Pakuranga, despite coming sixth with only 816 votes in 2011. Simmons denied rumours of backroom talks with National to run a soft campaign, allowing Act to take the seat.
News to me. I expect National to retain Pakuranga easily.
Banks agreed National’s backing in Pakuranga would help both parties, but would not say if he was seeking another Epsom-style arrangement.
“I wouldn’t even enter into a conversation about that because I have no knowledge of such things and there’s no anticipation that would be the case.
So ACT isn’t asking and National isn’t offering. A bit of a non-story.