TOP not dead

Stuff reports:

(TOP) has decided to contest the next election – and National leader Simon Bridges isn’t ruling out doing a deal.

TOP announced on Monday morning it had decided to fight on, after getting 2.4 per cent of the party vote in 2017.  …

Wellington economist Geoff Simmons, who was deputy leader in the 2017 campaign, would take over as leader of the party, while Morgan would be chair of the policy committee, the announcement said.

Morgan was highly polarising but he would get media attention. The challenge for TOP will be relevance. Will they get any media for their views? Will they have money to advertise?

TOP was strong in Wellington Central where the Greens were also strong. “If you look at the Greens, they’re always divided between the protesters and those who are more realistic,” Bridges said.

“It seems to me that TOP has the makings of something that’s more centrist and more realistic, very evidence-based and they could hold any sort of government to account on a bunch of issues.”

He acknowledge National needed partners. “I have always said to you, options will come up. We’re seeing the first one today.”

Talking to Radio NZ, Simmons said TOP was looking to win seats at the next election, and “be in a position where we can negotiate with either of the big establishment parties”.

TOP on current policy has more in common with Labour than National.

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