ACT will survive, says Key
Tue, 26 Feb 2013 9:26a.m.
By Dan Satherley
The ACT Party, clinging to its Epsom lifeline, has a "good chance" of rejuvenating itself as a strong coalition partner in 2014, says Prime Minister John Key.
After scraping through the 2011 election with a single MP – John Banks – after a scandal-dogged campaign, the party is in rebuilding mode. At its annual conference on the weekend, president and former MP John Boscawen emphasised the importance of the wealthy Epsom electorate, and said in 2014 the incumbent National Party will need coalition options other than the Maori Party and New Zealand First.
"We need to constantly remind Epsom voters of how crucial their support for John Banks was in the last election, and why it will be so important that ACT retains Epsom."
This morning, speaking to Firstline, Mr Key was optimistic the party could make a comeback, but acknowledged it's been a tough few years for its right-wing ally.
"I think they've got a good chance of regenerating," says Mr Key. "Obviously they've been going through a few issues, and they're not actually solely related to what happened last year. ACT's been in some decline for a number of years, which is why you saw the external takeover."
Mr Key says he's a centrist leader, which keeps a spot on the right for ACT to pick up votes.
"When we've got too far to the right, National's historically done poorly. It's won its most elections under Keith Holyoake, and Keith was very much a centrist leader, and I think I'm very much a centrist leader.
"So that does leave room for us out to the right, where there will be some voters who say, 'Look, John Key's not right-wing enough for me,' so there's some room there."
Preferably though, he'd prefer people just voted for National – perhaps as long as they don't live in Epsom.
"In a perfect world we would get 61-plus seats. But no one's done that under MMP, and we acknowledge how difficult that is, so we do need friends and we do need partners.
"Where they come from and how we cobble them together, that's really a matter for the voters, ultimately. I can't control that – I can give people a bit of an indication of who we'd prefer to work with, but in the end that's the system we've now got."
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5/03/2013 12:12:29 p.m.
What's the old saying "It's no use flogging a dead horse."
3/03/2013 10:22:57 p.m.
If John Key is a Centrist P.M the Pope had to resign for being a Mullah in disguise.
John Banks has already had 3 strikes if Key thinks he wont be 'out' he underestimates the determination of many people combining forces to ensure a Karma hit before the next election. Crosby Textor may be able to keep whitewashing Key for now, but many even in the Epsom Asian community shake their heads when you mention his name.. They actually exile or gaol their C officials in China.
2/03/2013 6:20:37 p.m.
Well... if last week's poll was to be believed,Key and Banks could probably embark on a shooting spree one night in Otara and still win the next election.Let's face it these two and the Nats are getting away with more lies and self serving policies than I can recall ever happening previously.We could all take a good lesson from those kids in Motueka and stand up to say no more.And Labour may be a little weak at the moment but are still far superior to these cons.
26/02/2013 12:47:17 p.m.
National desperately need ACT so they can continue the pretense of National being a *centrist* party.
No longer having ACT to the right to provide a convenient scapegoat for National's implementation of a harsh right-wing agenda, National would have to relinquish its ludicrous facade of centrism, accept that it is a right-wing neoliberal party, and actually own its policies rather than implement them by stealth under the guise of *that's MMP folks*.
ACT Party philosophy is *purportedly* based upon individual freedom and personal responsibility. John Banks - a conservative authoritarian who in no way embodies ACT Party philosophy - representing ACT, is about as ludicrous as having a creationist as Associate Minister of Education. Oh, wait.
26/02/2013 12:09:49 p.m.
John Davis wrote:
Oh please Key is no centralist, he is far right wing and Act is even more to the far right, why the hell would Key go out of his way to help a struggling far right wing organisation if he wasn't far right himself.
Obviously himself and ACT have alot in common.
Labours incompetence certainly hasn't moderated Nationals agenda, National have pretty much had everything their own way there is no counter weight, labour in its current state is just a piece of fluff.
26/02/2013 11:39:28 a.m.
Yes another honest national leader in Holyoake.Perhaps national could tell the public how Kinlock station ended up in Holyoakes grubby hands,and the thousands of head of live stock from the surrounding land and survey blocks ended up stocking it.I often wondered if the odd cattle beast and a few sheep carried the wire cutters around with them.
26/02/2013 11:23:14 a.m.
Of course ACT will survive, Key will order one of his drones to throw the election bid and away we go again. Who said we had no corruption in our political system.
26/02/2013 10:28:00 a.m.
Here we go again. John Key dropping hint to his supporters to vote for Act to get them back in to parliament. How far down can you go John? Do you really believe the people of Epsom are better represented by a man who have no credibility at all and his courier as a politician expired in 1999? Paul Goldsmith's got more credibility than you and John Banks put together.
26/02/2013 10:00:47 a.m.
Key makes an under statement with a straight face regarding ACT, "Obviously they've been going through a few issues". A few?? I think National and Key will be brought down the high horse by the failings of the dubious Banks and the incompetent Parata and others in his cabinet.
26/02/2013 9:42:15 a.m.
Only in JK's world wrote:
"Mr Key says he's a centrist leader" Compared to who, Gengis Khan? JK is also obviously telling Epsom voters to keep on voting ACT. How bad does it get.
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