Prime Minister John Key has ruled out any electoral deal between National and the Conservative Party.
Prime Minister John Key today made clear National’s position on accommodating support parties in electorate contests at this year’s General Election.
The National Party and its partners have successfully provided stable MMP government over two terms of Parliament and through challenging times.
“We will be seeking a further mandate on September 20,” says Mr Key.
“In an MMP environment, the public determines the make-up of Parliament by voting in a combination of parties, and every election is a tight contest.”
“After the election, political parties must work constructively to form and maintain a stable Government and voters want to know what party combinations are possible.”
In January, the Prime Minister made it clear that if National were returned to Government this election, the preference is to continue working with ACT, the Māori Party and United Future as this has been a successful combination.
He also made it clear it would be possible to add the Conservative Party and New Zealand First to this group.
Today he outlined National’s position on electorate contests for the 2014 election campaign.
“We’re seeking to maximise the party vote for National across the country in all seats. It is only through delivering the strongest possible party vote that National voters will return National to Government.”
“For the electorate vote, we will encourage National party supporters to give their electorate vote to the ACT candidate in Epsom and the United Future candidate in Ohariu.”
“We will continue to seek to maximise our party votes in those electorates and that’s what National Party candidates will be working hard to do.
“In East Coast Bays, where the Conservatives have a candidate, the only option to accommodate that party would be to remove a sitting MP from the ballot paper and that, as I have said, is a bridge too far. So there will be no electorate accommodation with the Conservatives.”
“However, we are happy to consider working with the Conservative party post-election should the public vote that party in to Parliament.”
“As I have said previously we are also prepared to discuss working with New Zealand First if that party is returned to Parliament.”
“In Epsom and Ōhariu, both ACT and United Future share a history of working with National and those are proven relationships that have stood the test of time.”
“National doesn’t always agree with ACT, the Māori Party and United Future on every issue, but together our four parties have maintained a stable and successful Government since late 2008.”
“Under the National-led Government, New Zealand is heading in the right direction and if re-elected, National will continue to work hard for all New Zealanders.”
Conservative leader Colin Craig wanted sitting East Coast Bays MP Murray McCully to stand aside so he could have a better chance at winning the seat.
Had that happened in my electorate I would have found it very difficult to vote for him rather than my National MP.
This would have been very different from Ohariu and Epsom. Peter Dunne was the local MP before MMP and Rodney Hide won Epsom when then sitting-MP Richard Worth was trying to hold it.
The people in these electorates chose someone other than the National candidates first and they keep doing that.
This year they can choose to do that again, or not.
That is very different from taking a choice away by pulling a long-serving and popular MP.
If it had been done and Craig won, any votes that counted for the Conservatives which might have helped National form a government could well have been cancelled out by National voters turned off by that thought who’d then vote for another party.