Saturday, September 06, 2014

Epsom voters

Interesting how people run around telling people what should or needs to happen as if they share the same objectives as the person they are talking to. National and its supporters are telling Epsom to vote for ACT.

 From the PM : "For the electorate vote, we will encourage National party supporters to give their electorate vote to the ACT candidate in Epsom" An Epsom voter can indeed strengthen the right block marginally by voting for ACT.

But that assumes two things that it will make a difference to the short term outcome and that outcome is the key thing that the voters care about. For an Epsom voter - these value judgements are quite likely to hold

conservative/national > act/national (where conservatives get over 5% and national needs an extra seat)

 national > national/ACT (where national gets enough to govern by itself) 

and long term no ACT > ACT (in order for the votes to go to national and for their socially liberal policies to be suppressed)

The scenario that voting ACT matters for who becomes prime minister is quite a marginal one where ACT probable 1 extra seat is the swing vote that either gets Nat.NZ1st/UF over the line (very unlikely) or gets Nat/UF/ACT over the line and NZ first refuses to deal with national (very unlikely).

An Epsom voter could well vote in order to keep NZ first out of that coalition and get ACT in - but it isn't clear that they would prefer liberal ACT over conservative NZ first.

The remaining possibility that the media and politicians like to emphasis (NZfirst/labour/green/IMP coalition) seems pretty unlikely as we need both a balance of seats such that the left block wins by 1 seat and also, NZfirst decide to support this unstable coalition as opposed to a stable one of the right with a single party to negotiate with. that would be very strange strategy by Winston Peters. Even beyond that he risks his party being punished in the next election for some fairly inevitable infighting.

So in the end I think an Epsom voter can quite rationally vote for goldsmith. As to what will actually happen - ACT has another problem - Epsom voters don't know Seymore's name and that is very bad for politicians. When they go into the voting booth quite a few will not see a name they recognize besides Goldsmith and will put down 2 ticks blue...

I'm not sure what else national is doing to cripple it's candidate in Epsom - But they will need to put in even more effort than last time to ensure a loss.


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