ACT marks route to Wellington via Epsom

If there were such a thing called twisted history with an ironic touch, then the Epsom electorate in Auckland would be a prime example of personification.

If the ACT Party returns to Parliament after the general election on November 26, it would have not only performed a hat trick but also created a record of being in the Debating Chamber, thanks to the generosity of National Party.

Here is the twist of history and irony – in 2005, National, under the leadership of Dr Don Brash asked the voters in Epsom to cast their candidate vote to Rodney Hide of ACT and the Party vote to National. The voters listened, allowed Mr Hide to return to Parliament, with just another colleague (Heather Roy). Three years later, John Key made the same appeal and the voters obliged, this time letting Mr Hide take four MPs.

Less than five months ago, Dr Brash emerged from political wilderness and siezed the leadership of ACT of which he was not even a member, ousted Mr Hide and galvanised support from members of the Party.

He has sought National’s support, fielding John Banks (a former Minister under the National Government) in Epsom.

Mr Key has obliged but will the voters follow suit?

Labour is fielding David Parker in Epsom.

Would he upset the electoral applecart?

Only time will tell.

ACT under Dr Brash and National under Mr Key make strange bedfellows.

And politics is a glasshouse of weird happenings.

Dr Brash criticises National at almost every turn and still depends on its support for political survival.

Although polling below the threshold for entry into Parliament, a single win in Epsom would guarantee ACT at least two seats in Parliament.

Mr Key, committed to working with ACT, would perhaps offer two ministerial posts in the post-election cabinet.

Brash under Key would prove to be an interesting combination.

Meanwhile the Candidate List announced by ACT has had some sections of the Indian community in euphoria, with the 16th position allocated to Pratima Nand of Indo-Fijian extraction.

Ms Nand will contest Phil Goff at the Mt Roskill constituency, a veteran politician of proven record. With the electorate safe in the hands of Labour, she would find that route from Mt Roskill to Wellington arduous and tiring.

Like National (and unlike Labour), Dr Brash enjoys an extremely friendly media and hence neither his coup nor the vacant spot that he has left in the Number three slot on the ACT’s Candidate List has had any adverse comment.

The Epsom candidates- John Banks, David Parker and Pratima Nand- A long way from Mt Roskill to Wellington.

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