ACT have announced their list. The number 3 spot is blank for now, as the candidate approved for it has yet to make a final decision on availability. They are not a sitting MP and almost inevitably will be female.
The list is below, along with what % of the vote ACT approximately needs to get them into Parliament (assuming Banks wins Epsom).
- Don Brash 1.2%
- John Boscawen 2.0%
- To be confirmed 2.8%
- Don Nicolson 3.6%
- John Banks
- David Seymour 4.4%
- Chris Simmons 5.2%
- Stephen Whittington 6.0%
- Kath McCabe 6.8%
- Robyn Stent 7.6%
Nicolson and McCabe are both strong rural voices, and will no doubt target the rural sector and campaign against the ETS. Of course there is no way it will be dumped, unless ACT got a massive proportion of the vote, such as 15%
David and Stephen are both very very bright guys, and first class debaters. I’ve seen Stephen beat many an MP in a debate, and he would be a real force in the debating chamber. Of course ACT would need around 6% to get him in.
Don’t know Chris Simmons really, but he has managed to keep the party organisation intact while the leadership wars occurred, so I guess has proven himself. Robyn Stent has good credentials as the former Health & Disability Commissioner.
The big story is that four of the five current ACT MPs are retiring at the election. One willingly, and three unwillingly. This is very significant, and I think a sign that the party wants an end to the factional infighting of the past.
The other major challenge for ACT is that they need to get in one or more MPs who could become leader after Don, possibly around 2016 or 2017.
This might be the No 3 unnamed candidate, if they agree to stand. Otherwise Nicolson might be a possibility.
The big challenge for ACT is to lift their party vote. On current polls they would get Banks and Brash only. Really at a minimum they need to get 4 MPs and get their No 3 candidate in. Now traditionally they get a better result than the polls have shown, but history is no guarantee of the future.