INDEPENDENT NEWS

ACT is Back - Heather Roy

Published: Fri 23 Sep 2005 11:12 AM
ACT is Back - Heather Roy
Heather Roy's Diary
Last week’s Awesome Kiwi Roy Morgan Poll predicted Rodney Hide would win the seat of Epsom. The poll was largely ignored by media and political commentators and labeled by some as ‘fake’. It was however the result we expected and created the most exciting election night story. Rodney’s win is a tribute to the huge number of ACT members and supporters who worked tirelessly in Epsom and had confidence in a party that the nay-sayers were determined to describe as ‘dead in the water’. So ACT is back with two MP’s - Rodney Hide and myself - and with it the diary for another three years.
If we can’t beat you at the polls then we’ll drink you under the table
A huge amount of energy goes into mounting an election campaign, but it is not without fun. ACT’s Auckland Central candidate, Helen Simpson, added considerably to our street credibility by accepting a challenge from the Maori candidate for the same seat to a drinking race. Helen won, which is surprising, given that she is slim, attractive and 19. You can view our “liberal drinker” at www.actoncampus.org.nz/candidate_helensimpson
The final election night result
All eight parties with parliamentary representation who took part in the election were returned. The final results on election night (expressed in numbers of seats) were:
Labour: 50
National 49
New Zealand First 7
Green Party 6
Maori Party 4
United Future 3
ACT New Zealand 2
Jim Anderton’s Progressives 1
The total is 122, which may seem strange given that we have a Parliament of 120, but an “overhang” has been created. An overhang has always been a possibility but happened on this occasion because the Maori Party won a number of constituencies but did not do well in the party vote. Having said that, the special votes have yet to be counted and if the Maori Party makes a good showing then the overhang may be reduced to one seat.
At the moment my friendly National Party rival in Ohariu-Belmont holds parliamentary position number 120, whilst Matt Robson of the Progressives and Nandor Tanczos of the Greens are close behind. All will be hoping to do well in the specials to get into Parliament.
As the Prime Minister was quick to point out the Labour Party took few losses. It lost several electorates but these candidates were mainly saved by their place on the Labour list.
Special votes
The final result and the make up of Parliament will be decided when the special votes are counted. There are 218,000 special votes - which could not be counted on election night and the result is expected on October 1. These may yet see some changes to the election night result. In the meantime, negotiations between parties to form a government will continue. The diary will keep you posted.
ENDS

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