Wellington Central

So, ACT’s going to throw National a bone in Wellington Central. The Dominion Post‘s page two lead this morning says ACT won’t stand in the way of a National victory in New Zealand’s most overrated electorate. Franks reckons he’ll throw his weight behind former Wellington Mayor Mark Blumsky if polls show the former shoe salesman has a reasonable chance of unseating Marian Hobbs.

While I’m sure Blumsky’s campaign manager, David Farrar, will enjoy the gesture, he’ll be well aware that Franks’ votes are peanuts. Hobbs won the seat 14,906 to 10,725 over National’s last much fancied Wellington Central candidate, Hekia Parata. Franks was a weak fourth: the 2,824 votes he netted in 2002 wouldn’t have been enough to get Parata over the line.

What the DomPost should be asking is what Green voters are gonna do. Last time, Wellington Central was our best electorate. We got 16.3% of the party vote, only 1,300 away from beating National into second place. Sue K, a sitting MP with a high public profile, was a comfortable third in the electorate race, getting 4,736 votes. She’s the Greens’ Wellington Central candidate again this year, and what she says about the race is likely to have much more influence than anything Franks says or does.