The report that Rodney Hide had been approached to re-enter politics and stand in Epsom and his statement declining the offer has well and truly opened the door on the 'silly season' in politics with one commentator suggesting that Epsom is now Dotcom territory for the taking. Clearly delusion rules supreme in that persons mind. It takes two to tango and the thought of John Key reaching any sort of accommodation with the soon to be launched (perhaps) 'Anything to Muddy the Waters in my Extradition Hearing' Party is about as bizarre as Kim Dotcom himself.
There is much talk about ACT and Epsom and Ohariu and Dunne. Clearly both of those parties are 'damaged goods' and some might argue that the ACT brand is toxic to the point where it should be written off and consigned to the dustbin of history. A more considered view is that both have been dependable coalition partners and that MMP is all about coalitions and coalition politics.
Consider this (and for the purpose of debate let's forget about the possibility of 'overhangs') ..... National scores 44% and wins Epsom and Ohariru = 53 seats. National scores 44% and reaches an accommodation in Epsom and Ohariru won by ACT and United Future = 55 seats.
Factor in the Conservatives at say 4.6% with one electorate seat in an accommodation deal = 6 seats (I can't see them breaking 5% barrier let alone the 10% claimed by Craig supported by some very shonky polling) and you have the framework for a centre/right government without having to rely on the Maori Party to which I would offer the Speakership so as to further cement support.
A couple of tenths of a decimal point and the picture changes again but whatever, it's a tight race and only a fool would think otherwise.
Yep, the Conservatives are flaky (to a degree) and, like Winston First, are led by a Messiah who pulls the strings. But I'm not sure Craig is into the politics of destructive destabilisation that characterises Winston First. In short, I would hold my nose and give them a chance to prove themselves in government.
Can I therefore urge National to think very carefully before writing off ACT and UF. Do that and victory becomes just a tad harder and NZL can't afford to see the very real progress of the last six years of responsible financial management coupled with the ongoing reforms in social welfare and a wind-back of the RMA undone in a stroke by Labour, propped up by the two extreme parties of the left, the luddite Greens and the Racist Cargo Cult Hone Party.