Which is here. My first thought is that people like me pay too much attention to the ACT Party. Not only is it very marginal and unpopular, nowadays it only exists as a way for the National Party to scam the electoral system and grift votes from ACT’s old libertarian donor base – and the only way for them to win an electorate is by standing a former National MP. They’re closer to Anderton’s Progressive Party, but they get more press because of the high rate of mental illness in their candidates.
Anyway, that said:
- Hilary Calvert is not on the list. Her crucial decision to support Brash over Hide doesn’t seem to have played out very well for her. Or, actually for ACT.
- Don Nicolson is number four. Not likely to get in on current polling. I’d have thought the former president of Federated Farmers could have won a safe seat or a high list spot in the National Party, but I’m guessing Nicolson is just too bat-shit insane. Certainly the new FF spokesperson – who appeared on Q & A this morning – was doing his best to distance himself and his organisation from the public relations catastrophe that was Don Nicolson.
- John Banks is number five – although he will probably win Epsom by a landslide. I think they’ll get at least three MPs, and the party dynamics will be fascinating. Brash is the leader but Banks will have the only electoral mandate. Brash is a really, really inept politician – and Banks is very accomplished politician, a former Cabinet Minister and former Mayor of Auckland. And Brash is radical – his political goal is to immanentize the eschaton, while Banks is deeply conservative – ideologically he’s further from ACT than John Key, who ACT are supposed to function as a right-wing counter-weight for.
- Brash has dibbed Minister of Education in the next government. I predict he’ll get Associate Minister tasked with responsibility for something trivial. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him resign after the election ‘in protest’ over some pretext once he realises he’s not going to get to dismantle our school system.