ACT: We'll win 3 or 4 seats

07:26, Sep 17 2014
ACT Leader Jamie Whyte
ACT Leader Jamie Whyte

ACT leader Jamie Whyte says his party will hold the balance of power after the election but he’s hoping Colin Craig and Winston Peters won't be there beside him.

Whyte said the ideal outcome was that National would form government in partnership with ACT, United Future and the Maori Party.

ACT has polled 0.2 per cent and 0.7 per cent of votes in the two most recent Stuff.co.nz/ipsos polls.

Whyte said he was expecting a more favourable result on Saturday, which would deliver enough votes to get three or four MPs into Parliament.

He said it would be easier to get multiple candidates in on the back of their deal with National in the Epsom electorate. 

“I’ll be in Parliament and two or three others. From there my job is to get that vote over 5 per cent for the next election.”

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In what he said was his final speech before Election Day, Whyte criticised the Conservatives and NZ First and said he hoped neither of them made it into Parliament.

Faced with the option of having to work with either party, he said it was a “dreadful choice but I guess Conservatives. Winston (Peters) goes a little bit further with some of the ugliness around the foreigner stuff.”

Whyte said his deputy leader Kenneth Wang was the most popular Chinese politician in New Zealand and that some Chinese websites have listed ACT as the second most popular party after Labour.

There was broad support for ACT’s policies but this was not reflected in the polls, he said. 

In order to prove that the party filed an Official Information Act request to find out the results of TV NZ's Vote Compass, an online tool that measures the views of voters against party policies.

More than 283,000 people have taken the survey and Whyte believed many of those people aligned with ACT.

“We’re confident that about 10 per cent of the population shares ACT’s ideas.”

Despite bad polling Whyte denied claims the party has become irrelevant and said they were a valuable partner in the MMP system.

“National needs ACT in the same way Labour party needs the Greens.”

“We represent a grand tradition of classic liberal thought and we’re the only party that does that.”

Whyte took aim at the media, saying the political scandals and dirty tricks had been reported as if it were a game of snakes and ladders.

He said that type of coverage had disadvantaged his party because he was focused on ideas, which were largely ignored.

"In 12 months time the issues that matter will be jobs, the economy, the cost of a house and whether or not people feel safe."

“Mr Dotcom will have left our shores and nobody will even remember what Dirty Politics was all about. As Helen Clark might have said ‘we will have moved on’.”

Stuff