The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

is Rodders contesting Epsom or not?

Talk about your mixed messages - a colleague lives in Epsom and the only Act stuff she's had through the letterbox recently emphasises the party vote and says they don't want electorate votes. And then driving around the electorate, the only billboards I have seen for Act were strictly Party Vote focused.

I don't read Rodney's blog these days, having been driven off by the abusive manner of the commenters. But I have noticed on many of the hopeful Act on Campus blogs the authors are still putting Mr Hide up very strongly for Epsom. Yet the campaigning in the area to date doesn't seem to reflect that. And I don't mean reflect that he will win it, but just that he is seriously contesting the electorate itself.

Add to this the fact that Rodders has a website asking for the electorate vote but was recently in the media for paid billboard ads which had "Candidate Vote National, Party Vote Act" on them. On the TV3 Leaders' Debate on Thursday Mr Hide was Party Vote all the way. Even when Winston cracked that he could probably work with Rodney but he wasn't going to be there, Hide didn't retort with Epsom. He could have said "the voters of Epsom don't think so Winston", but he just took it.

As a veteran of Waitakere 2002, I find all this behaviour very strange. Three years ago the Alliance at times compromised our party vote campaign to try to win that crucial seat, knowing that it was really our only chance of survival. I would have expected Act to do the same, although perhaps having learnt some lessons from our failure. But if they are putting a "Vote Hide for Epsom" message out there it must be very targeted indeed, and possibly not even to the majority of Epsom voters...


Rich said...

I don't understand why parties don't campaign for electorate votes.

If Mr Rightist voter votes Nat in Epsom, then that will help ensure ACT don't get win the seat - and thus help ACT wind up out of parliament on present polling.

If they vote ACT - that would help ACT get in. It'd make little difference to the Nats national MP count - that depends on the party vote. Even if the vote was split and Labour won Epsom, then the totals would still depend on the party vote.

It'd make more sense for ACT to put their entire resources behind an electorate campaign and advise their supporters to party vote Nat.

Equally, I can't see any downside to me (as an Auckland Central Green supporter) voting for Nandor in the electorate and party vote Green. If the Greens drop to 3% I might vote Nandor/Labour, but I can't see any reason to vote for Judith Tizard.

gpjwatson said...

From what I understand ACT is going for the Epsom seat, as reaching 5% is certainly not guaranteed. They have finally adopted the strategy Aaron B was advancing earlier this year when he was advocating Banks as an ACT candidate to win the seat of Tamaki to keep ACT in Parliament.
The only difference is that with John Banks deciding not to stand the seat is Epsom instead.

span said...

so is Rodney going to start actually properly running for the seat? I haven't driven around in the electorate for about a week, but last time I was there there weren't any personal billboards, in fact there weren't many Act ones at all. As I said in my post, the stuff that's going to homes in the area, that i've heard about, is all party vote. Not exactly a clear message.

Very strange given that Hide has wanted to run seriously for the seat for at least two previous elections and now that Prebble is gone, what's stopping him?

stef said...

I don't understand why National is leaving Act out to flounder like this.

span said...

i guess it's the same as Labour and the Alliance last election - they know that Act votes come from their vote predominantly - more so than the Alliance's votes came from Labour actually, as a lot of Alliance voters from 1999 just didn't vote in 2002.

But there doesn't seem to be the personal bitterness between Actos and Nats that there was between some in Labour and the Alliance. Maybe they see Act as a competitor for fundraising too, so want them gone?

Rob Good said...

It is a strong effort till the end. Rodney is gaining ground fast.