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Epsom a done deal

Written By: - Date published: 2:57 pm, April 19th, 2011 - 43 comments
Categories: act, election 2011, national, rodney hide - Tags: ,

Recently Irish Bill wrote on the Nats’ dilemma in Epsom. Throw a lifeline to the execrable Rodney Hide and his party of loons, or the riskier option of winning Epsom for themselves and doing without the baggage of ACT.

Looks like the deal is now done, and predictably Key has decided that he needs ACT’s numbers (however small):

Key hints Epsom seat safe for Hide

Prime Minister John Key has given the strongest indication yet that National will not try to win the Epsom seat from sitting MP and Act leader Rodney Hide in the November election.

Mr Key said last night the primary emphasis in Epsom would be the party vote.

He said at his post-Cabinet press conference that Act had been very “supportive and loyal to National as a support partner in the National-led Government”.

So the Nats will stand a sacrificial muppet. Wonder what Winston will do?

No doubt all those eager defenders of the intricacies of our democracy who were so quick to criticise Labour for encouraging some list members not to take up a vacancy will be outraged by this manoeuvre. National and ACT colluding to game the electoral system?!! Not offering the voters a proper choice? It shouldn’t be allowed! In full expectation of the outrage tsunami, I am now holding my breath…

43 comments on “Epsom a done deal”

  1. graeme 1


  2. RedLogix 2

    The logical answer to these tactics from National is for all the left-leaning voters in Epsom to give their candidate vote to whichever ‘sacrifical muppet’ the Nats put up.
    This wouldn’t have been enough to stop Hide in 2008, but this time round you have to think Hide isn’t likely to get 21,000 odd votes.

    • Agreed. Unfortunately for Labour, Green and other left-wing voters in Epsom, their votes united in any way will not elect any other candidate except the National candidate.
      But it helps out on the national level, depriving National of a coalition partner and causing wasted votes.

      • fermionic_interference 2.1.1

        But PP unless the possibly unknown Nat in question is a complete and utter monster (Gerry the Hutt Mk II) would it really matter if they were elected in Epsom?
        They would just use up another Nat seat in parliament that would’ve otherwise been picked up off the list so isn’t that better for those left leaning folk in that electorate and the country over all to do that?

        Whilst knocking Act out of parliament it would be a good result all round surely. . . . .
        Captcha: unkonwn

      • mickysavage 2.1.2

        Agreed but …

        I tried to persuade my sisters to do this in 2005.  They both said that they went into the polling booth with every intent of doing so, put the pen in their hand and … two ticked labour!

        They just could not do it.

        I think a better line for the Labour candidate is to say that if people wish to give him or her their electorate vote he or she will accept it with gratitude, that if  there was a choice he would prefer that they gave Labour their party vote, and that if they wanted to make a change then vote for MUPPET Sacrificial (National) and say three hail marys on the way out …

  3. ak 3

    Yes, Mediaworksgate and now a blatant electoral rort proposed by the PM himself, both with utter impunity.  

    Those “Death of Democracy” red pages and shrieks from our courageous and independent fourth estate were obviously announcements rather than warnings. 

  4. gobsmacked 4

    It’s a very risky move for Key.

    If the general election is dull (sleepwalk to victory/defeat) then the media will be looking for horse-race stories in the electorates. Epsom is ideal, especially since TV is now Auckland-centred.

    The Prime Minister lives and votes in Epsom, and will be asked every day if/when he will be out campaigning for his party’s candidate.

    It could all get very messy, and National could burn off a lot of goodwill (i.e. votes) just for the sake of one or two ACT MPs.

    Also, there’s the ACT list. It’s hard enough defending your own party’s candidates, now Key will have to sing the praises of the ACT fruit and nut bars. Good luck with that, John!

  5. True Blue 5

    One word “Wigram”

  6. Tigger 6

    Same thing in Ohariu where it appears Key will shaft Katrina Shanks and tell Nats to vote for Dunne.  I’m sure Shanks will swallow the rat here (despite putting years of work into the electorate) but Nat voters should feel rightly peeved.  All this for one vote?

    • s y d 6.1

      I don’t think theyre doing this for one vote, but to have someone else to put up the really awful, ugly, repugnant ideas and then water them down a little to get to where they really want to be…shout wolf, but then be able to say, hey it’s not so bad, its only a hyena…..

      • Tigger 6.1.1

        Good point syd.  To be honest, when I think of ‘watered down’ Dunne does immediately spring to mind.

  7. Bazar 7

    “No doubt all those eager defenders of the intricacies of our democracy who were so quick to criticise Labour for encouraging some list members not to take up a vacancy will be outraged by this manoeuvre. National and ACT colluding to game the electoral system?!! Not offering the voters a proper choice? It shouldn’t be allowed! In full expectation of the outrage tsunami, I am now holding my breath…”

    Yes, we’re just as outraged over this, as this blog was over the maori party not contesting Hone’s electorate…. Both the national and labour supporters condemed.. wait, my memory must be failing me. Its almost as if this site never bothered to condem such an agreement from the maori party.

    Weird, i can’t help but feel like this article is being hypocritical. Calling out right-wing bloggers for being two-faced, and yet being two-faced with maori and national election tactics itself.

    • r0b 7.1

      Calling out right-wing bloggers for being two-faced, and yet being two-faced with maori and national election tactics itself.

      Baz, I’m not at all interested in what the right wing bloggers had to say. Much more interested in some of the more respectable commentators / reporters who made such a meal of the Labour list issue. And yeah, those same folk did fail to comment on the MP agreement too, fancy that.

      • Bazar 7.1.1

        ah, well fair enough then.
        Still not sure how people can get outraged over it, its just politcs as usual.

  8. Mac1 8

    Two points. The Nats now think that they can’t get a majority by themselves. Secondly, this make a farce of the National brand when it is really National minus (Ohariu and Epsom)?

  9. Epsom people have shown clearly that they understand what is happening, and how MMP works and why.

    Since the idea is to win the Government benches, why play pussy,

  10. Epsom people have shown clearly that they understand what is happening, and how MMP works and why.

    Since the idea is to win the Government benches, why play pussy,

    • gobsmacked 10.1

      If you had any knowledge of “Epsom people”, you would know that they do indeed understand what is happening and are very unhappy about it.

      I’m talking about National supporters, not lefties.
      Much more to come on this.

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      Since the idea is to win the Government benches, why play pussy,

      yeah, putting a knife in democracy for the umpteenth time in Epsom seems an acceptable trade off you say?

  11. Chris 11

    Yeah cause this way different from when Labour used to field extremely strong candidates in Wigram.

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      In that Labour couldn’t have beaten Anderton in Wigram even if they wanted to? Yeah, it’s way different.
      What cracks me up about this is how the parties of the market,
      filled to the gunwales with people who grip and grime about
      ‘pee-cee goooorn maaaad’,
      set up up this little positive discrimination scheme;
      this ‘ACT deserves a helping hand because it can’t compete’ thing.

      Fair play to them; they’re fucking snakes pitching raindows to fuckwits and rubes,
      but you’d think that any principled righty would revolt against it.
      (walks a way singing, “that was my mistake, that was my mistake, oh…”)

      • mcflock 11.1.1

        Agreed pb. The other point being that Anderton has generally acted according to his professed principles – even if he was a dick to the Alliance.

        He was not, for example, a “perkbuster” who went on junkets or a “tough on crime” politician who knew that there was an identity thief in his caucus.

        The worst you can say about Anderton is that he is egotistical, dictatorial and refused to let party membership instruct his political actions – faults common to many politicians.

        Hide, on the other hand, has no idea that there is a line between “character flaw” and “unregenerate and base hypocrite”.

        • Chris

          I agree hide is a dick but to be fair labour couldve won wigram if they really wanted. I mean they had clear majorities in the party vote. How is that different from here?

          • Colonial Viper

            Because Wigram was about Jim Anderton, Epsom is about a lying loser with no judgement

          • Draco T Bastard

            Wigram was going to go to Jim Anderton no matter who Labour put in place. If National put a strong candidate in place there’s no way Hide would win. This give National two choices: 1) a strong candidate and win Epsom itself or 2.) a weak/no candidate and give it to Hide so that Act can get back in parliament hopefully with more than 1 seat. National have chosen the second option which is seen as them gaming the system.

            • Colonial Viper

              I wonder how the voters of Epsom are enjoying Key stripping them of democratic choice yet again.

            • Puddleglum

              Part of your point 2), DTB, is also the clear signal that all National wants is the party vote. Even with a strong candidate that would be a killer given peterquixote’s point about the canniness of the voters of Epsom when it comes to tactical voting.

              It would clearly be seen, in that case, as Key stabbing a strong candidate in the back as opposed to now simply stabbing some unknown in the back (though perhaps with promises that if she/he’s a good girl/boy Key will favour them at some point in the future).

              • Pascal's bookie

                And Key has been good with the favours.

                Brian Neeson, (pushed aside so Key could have Helensville in 02),  got landed on the Human Rights review Tribunal, as did Ravi Musuku (shunted in Mt Albert so Melissa Lee could show her chops), Brash got cash to recycle his campaign speeches, Richard Worth was rewarded for taking it easy on Hide with cushy cabinet postings and no oversight. 

                Canniness? They know how to do as they’re told, I’ll give ’em that. Old dear on the news the other night saying she really wanted to vote for some nice young local tory, but she supposes the Prime Minister knows best.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Fact of the matter is that the Right can follow marching orders and are rewarded for doing so. Even within the aristocracy there is a hierarchy.
                  The Left – difficult times just organising a sausage sizzle.

          • Puddleglum

            Chris, there’s history here. Anderton took the Sydenham electorate from Labour when he established New Labour (I can’t remember Labour’s candidate then). That was pre-MMP. So long as there was only an electorate vote under FPP, Anderton had an impressive majority. It was a very safe New Labour seat.

            With MMP, left-leaning voters realised that they could keep voting for Anderton in the electorate and vote for others (Labour, Greens, whoever) on the party vote if they wished. No Labour electorate candidate stood a chance so long as Anderton stood for New Labour/Alliance/Progressives in the significantly re-drawn electorate (Wigram). Anderton also had (still has) a very good electorate reputation as someone who works hard for his constituents. I imagine there’s more than a few National inclined voters who voted for Anderton as their electorate choice.

            It’s nothing like Epsom. Hide only ever won there because of the electorate’s understanding of MMP. He has never won on his own merits or on the basis of the political ideology he stood for.

            • Nick K

              Hide only ever won there because of the electorate’s understanding of MMP. He has never won on his own merits or on the basis of the political ideology he stood for.

              Maybe 2005, but not 2008.  If you look at the polling booth records from 2008 he won fair and square as the best and most popular candidate.

              • Draco T Bastard

                And Nick k proves his complete incapability of comprehending the written word. Hide won Epsom in 2008 because National wanted him to win it and not because he was popular.

  12. Santi 12

    It will be the final nail in Goff’s coffin.

  13. higherstandard 13

    Crooks rorters, troughers……. now how can I form a political party and get the nicompoops to vote for me and trough it up large for decades.

    Winston, Jim, Rodders, Petey share your wisdom on how to pump the electorate up the jacksie.

  14. willie maley 14

    According to Hooten on RNZ yesterday, National were definitely cutting ACT adrift in Epsom.
    Obviously not as close to the inside of the beehive as he likes to make out.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Either that or something has changed very recently (last couple of days) and Hooten was not updated.
      National don’t believe their vote is going to hold up until nov.

  15. gobsmacked 15

    National’s problems in Epsom are greater than some seem to realize.

    Remember that Richard Worth was already an MP, and he had to be given a high list placing, guaranteeing him a seat (and keeping him quiet).

    The new National candidate will want the same. Therefore, s/he will be a guaranteed MP. So s/he will need to be a decent candidate … National won’t want to pick a “loser” (because they’ll be stuck with this MP).

    Unfortunately, any candidate worth a high list place is likely to think s/he also “deserves” to win in Epsom (this is politics, ambition always goes hand-in-hand with self-regard).

    National could, of course, pick a sacrificial lamb i.e. somebody not on the list, or ranked very low. (There would doubtless be promises of a pay-off later). But then National would be holding up a big sign saying “Fuck you voters!”. Not smart.

    So (if you’re still with me!) National have to pretend to want to win the seat, much more so than Labour did in Wigram – because the voters liked Jim Anderton, and they really, really don’t like Rodney Hide.

    Trouble is, a lot of their activists won’t be pretending.

    Anyone who thinks Epsom is a safe bet for Hide is out of touch.

  16. ianmac 16

    I can see a place for a big NO sign here somewhere.
    “Do we in National believe in Democracy in Epson? Hell NO!
    or “Do we want our National Candidate to win in Epson? Hell NO!

  17. jaymam 17

    I suggest that Winston Peters should stand in Epsom.
    He won’t win but the political meetings with him and Hide will be dynamite. They would need some very big halls for the meetings.
    Winston would get huge publicity countrywide, and his party could get over the 5%.
    If National don’t stand anyone sensible, Winston could get quite a few votes.
    I can’t think of another seat that Winston would win.

    • peterb. 17.1

      Epsom deserves better than impeded National Party neutered electorate options..mind u is ACT worse than a smily PM who is akin to a great used car sales person ready to sell Key strategic assets….we deserve the Winston option. peterb.

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