Conservative Party leader Colin Craig has announced he would contest the September 20 election in the East Coast Bays electorate, a National stronghold held by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully for the past 20 years.
Craig conceded at yesterday’s campaign launch, that he would lose if National did not step aside.
But he’s not prepared to accept a deal half-cooked, saying he would be grateful if National stepped aside completely, but was opposed to a situation where McCully ran but only for the party vote.
I think that makes it easy for National.
It’s one thing to stand a candidate, but to say you are comfortable with voters supporting a potential coalition partner, as that leaves the decision in the hand of the local voters.
It is quite another thing to not stand a candidate, and effectively force the decision on the electorate. It is also very unpopular with the local members.
If Colin Craig is saying he doesn’t want an “endorsement”, but a full withdrawal, then National can more easily say, “No”.