by Gareth Hughes
There’s been a lot of talk lately on electorate deals and I’d like to put myself on the record as the Green Party candidate standing in Ōhariu.
The Green Party does not have a deal with the Labour candidate, Charles Chauvel, nor does it intend to ask its supporters to vote for him in an attempt to defeat Peter Dunne in the Ōhariu seat.
Voters can decide for themselves how to use their two ticks strategically, they don’t need to be instructed.
In Ōhariu, just like in every other electorate, we are only campaigning for Kiwis’ party vote.
I’m not telling people who to vote for as their electorate MP in Ōhariu but I am upfront with them – I like Charles and I think Dunne is done: he’s out-dated and voters are tiring of his brand of bland ‘any way the wind blows’ politics. This is evidenced by his falling popularity in the electorate over the last three elections, as well as his dismal party vote throughout the country.
Our position is very different from National’s deals in Epsom and Ōhariu where they are telling their supporters to vote for the Act and United Future Party’s candidates.
Firstly, we aren’t contesting electorate seats anywhere, only campaigning for party votes.
Secondly, if we received 46% party votes, like the National Party received in Ōhariu in 2008 or 62% of the party votes, like the National Party received in Epsom in 2008 – we may well campaign for electorate votes in those seats. We didn’t, so we’re not.
Clearly it’s a very different situation we are in. National’s decision to support other parties candidates in seats where they have the largest share of votes, and would normally contest and likely win, is all about putting these two parties on life-support, for their own ends.