The party published the move today on its Facebook page, saying “Let’s support her and see her as the next MP for Epsom.” It was also announced at a public meeting in Auckland.
This is a reasonably cunning move.
At a minimum it gets publicity for the Conservatives as there will be considerable focus on Epsom.
It also means that it could throw the outcome of the seat in doubt. By this I don’t mean Labour or National winning the seat, but is it possible the Conservatives could win it?
Think about this scenario. It is two weeks to go and ACT is polling 1.1% and Conservatives 2.8%. National looks like it will be say three or four seats short of a majority.
Conservatives point out a vote for Rankin gets 4 of their MPs into Parliament while a vote for ACT gets just one MP. Regardless of what National has said, Epsom voters could decide to vote for the smartest tactical option.
So it will be a very interesting seat to watch.