The Conservative Party has confirmed that Christine Rankin will stand in the high-profile seat of Epsom this election.
Mrs Rankin is the party’s chief executive, and former Families Commissioner and former head of Work and Income NZ.
It is a move designed to get the Conservation Party more oxygen as the media spotlight shines on Epsom, and to potentially rock the National-Act deal.
First. The Conservatives don’t want gay people to marry because they’re a party that believes in ‘family values’. Yet Christine Rankin is one of their leaders?
Second. I think this is less about the current election and more about Colin Craig positioning himself for 2017. If he can knock ACT out in Epsom then surely that’ll be the end(?) and Craig can attract those right-wing votes next time around, along with some New Zealand First votes if, as everyone assumes, Winston Peters will resign at the end of the next Parliament. That might get him to 5%.
Can he knock ACT out in Epsom? I dunno. Banks’ majority in 2011 was just over 2000 votes – quite low, because 50% of Labour and Green voters voted strategically for National’s Paul Goldsmith. The Conservatives won’t have to win many votes off ACT to have a spoiler effect.