INDEPENDENT NEWS

Opposition in disarray over pre-election options

Published: Wed 29 Sep 1999 05:53 PM
"Last week Labour was criticising National for not standing a candidate in Wellington Central. Now, Labour is calling for Alliance's Phillida Bunkle to pull out of the same contest," said Hamilton West MP Bob Simcock today. "That's called hypocrisy!"
Mr Simcock was responding to comment's by Labour's Wellington Central candidate, Marian Hobbs. She hopes a recent Evening Post-UMR poll will put pressure on Alliance to pull out of the seat.
"Last week she said National had "let down" voters by not standing a candidate, and predicted National supporters would flood to support her. This week, after a poll showed how wrong she was, she is only too happy to try and push Alliance out of the picture."
He said it is becoming increasingly obvious that Labour has decided to stand a candidate in every seat, and it appears the Greens have been told but the Alliance hasn't.
"In the Coromandel, the Greens wrongly speculated that ACT has withdrawn from the race - labelling it a 'panicked deal.'
"Jeanette Fitzsimons knows that such a label will not come back to haunt her because Labour's told her they'll be contesting every electoral seat. Ms Bunkle and the Alliance, however, still think there's a chance of Labour backing out of certain seats."
Mr Simcock believes the confusion highlights the lack of communication, common ground and compromise between Labour and Alliance, as well as their inability to understand and work within the MMP environment.
"If they can't get together and organise themselves in Opposition, I shudder to think how they will work together around the same table in Government!"
ENDS

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