This will be one of the dirtiest political and anti-democratic tactics ever designed in NZ history. It has the potential of delivering a second John Key term, gifting Epsom to ACT and of discrediting MMP in one foul swoop: a true Tory Trifecta.
On current polling National’s Goldsmith is going to win Epsom handily with 41% of the vote versus Banks’ 30%.
The ‘Goldsmith Gambit’ is simple. It will be a conditional National response to this ‘Goldsmith victory, Banks silver medal’ scenario. If the November 26 result is one where National needs ACT to form a Government: the winner Goldsmith will resign from his electorate seat (probably citing some conflict of interest or family rationale). If he does this before December 15 (Writ Day), Goldsmith can keep his position as a National list MP, but allow John Banks to become MP for Epsom without even a by-election being fired.
The implications of this tactic and the Tory Trifecta have no doubt been thought through by both ACT and National Party strategists. Under the right conditions in a finally balanced MMP outcome, it will deliver to New Zealand a second term of National Government. While destroying New Zealand’s remaining international credibility as a true western democracy.
The one question I have is whether or not the details of the Gambit were discussed over a cup of tea.
Update: CV contacted us with an update on by election status but this post was scheduled and appeared first. See CV in comments. — r0b