The ACT Party will have their annual conference tomorrow in Auckland.
ACT is on the march and looking forward to our election year conference this Saturday at Orakei Bay. If you have been putting it off, it is not too late to register here. Not only will you be showing your support for ACT’s revival, but the program is filled with excellent speakers, entertainment, and don’t forget food.
ACT need a revival to get their party vote up to get more MPs to join a lobe David Seymour if he wins the Epsom electorate again.
Past results since MMP:
- 1996 – 10.10% (13 seats)
- 1999 – 7.04% (9 seats)
- 2002 – 7.14% (9 seats)
- 2005 – 1.51% (2 seats)
- 2008 – 3.65% (5 seats)
- 2011 – 1.07% (1 seat)
- 2014 – 0.69% (1 seat)
Jamie Whyte didn’t appeal as leader in 2014, and 2011 was when Don Brash hijacked the party and ousted Rodney Hide, leaving only the odd choice of John Banks to win Epsom.
See full details here, but speakers include Leonie Freeman of Goodman Properties on the housing market, Former Labour Party President Mike Williams speaking for the Howard League on how to get smart on crime, and the New Zealand Initiative’s Eric Crampton on the truth about inequality. We expect David Seymour’s keynote speech to be his best yet.
The conference is likely to get some but not much media coverage. It is more to rally and encourage the troops.
I think Seymour has a good chance of retaining Epsom, but how the party vote goes will depend on whether ACT can come up with some more appealing candidates.
NZ Herald: David Seymour’s quest to rebuild Act
“We have to get some momentum behind Act and resurrect it as a party vote party, and that means getting to, at minimum, 1.3, 1.4 per cent to get a second MP,” Seymour said.
“I gave a speech a few weeks ago where I said the reason there has been no action on the housing crisis is because the average National MP owns 2.2 houses and doesn’t care. I don’t know if that’s enough, but it’s reasonably bold stuff I would have thought,” he said.
Polling indicates New Zealand First leader Winston Peters could be king-maker later this year. On the prospect of being in Government with Peters, Seymour said he would be prepared to “take one for the team”.
“If you have to choose between having him in Government with us, or him going with Labour and the Greens, then I guess I’d probably take one for the team. But I don’t think that’s a desirable outcome. The best you can say for the guy he is a charismatic crook.”
He spoke to the Herald from Dunedin, before heading to the Captain Cook pub for an O Week meet and greet with students.
“A lot of it is not what most people would regard as work – you spend a lot of time in transit, meeting people or going to functions … but it is still stuff you have to do, and it ends up being easily 80 hours a week. It is certainly pretty full on.
“We are lucky we have a pretty friendly, cooperative democracy. You look at all these people that are rude on Twitter, you wonder where they are in real life. They don’t seem to exist.”
Last year’s conference used precious exposure on an environmental policy to sell Landcorp to fund native wildlife sanctuaries. Has Act gone soft?
“I think it is something old, something new,” Seymour said of recent policies. “Act has always been a liberal party and a party of new ideas. That goes back the founding of the party. It was founded on a manifesto that had been audited by five different accounting firms. It has always been a policy-heavy party.”
I think Seymour has a good chance of retaining Epsom, but how the party vote goes will depend on whether ACT can come up with some additional appealing candidates.