Key confirms electorate deals with ACT, UnitedFuture — Conservatives out in the cold

Key at his post cabinet press conference this afternoon (TV3.co.nz livestream)

At his post cabinet press conference, Prime Minister John Key confirmed National would encourage its supporters to vote for ACT candidate David Seymour in Epsom and UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne in Ohariu.

As he flagged this morning, there will be no deal for Conservative leader Colin Craig, who is standing for East Coast Bays.

The PM said the only way Mr Craig could realistically win the seat would be if the incumbent Murray McCully was withdrawn from the ballot. 

That would be "a bridge too far."

The PM said there was "no chance" of him changing his mind, even if the Conservatives (currently polling between 1% and 2%) start polling over 4%.

Mr Key also reiterated that he would be prepared to work with the Conservative Party or NZ First if they are in the next Parliament.

Last week, NBR political commentator Matthew Hooton predicted National would spurn an electorate deal with the Conservatives. He cited talk of inhouse National polling that indicated a coalition with Colin Craig's party would shave 2% to 3% from National's list vote as social liberals defected. 

The Conservatives also complicated the pictured on July 19 as Mr Craig underlined that binding referenda would be a bottom line in coalition negotiations — a policy that would have caused difficulty for National with the Citizens Initiated Referendum late last year that saw a majority oppose the partial asset sale programme.

This afternoon, Mr Hooton saw Mr Key leaving himself some wiggle room, with August 26 looming as a key deadline in the PM's investment banker thought process.

ckeall@nbr.co.nz

What do you think? Vote in our BUSINESS PULSE poll: Should National have cut an East Coast Bays deal with Colin Craig?

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about My Tags

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7792 0.0009 0.12%
AUD 0.9465 -0.0003 -0.03%
EUR 0.6253 0.0030 0.48%
GBP 0.4966 0.0022 0.44%
HKD 6.0391 0.0052 0.09%
JPY 91.3490 0.4580 0.50%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1193.9 4.050 2014-12-16T00:
Oil Brent 60.0 -0.640 2014-12-16T00:
Oil Nymex 56.3 -0.090 2014-12-16T00:
Silver Index 15.7 -0.811 2014-12-16T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5495.8 5503.2 5498.1 -0.03%
NASDAQ 4556.9 4634.3 4547.8 1.65%
DAX 9455.7 9589.2 9563.9 -0.20%
DJI 17069.2 17372.0 17068.9 1.29%
FTSE 6331.8 6359.7 6331.8 0.07%
HKSE 22697.7 22726.6 22670.5 -0.37%
NI225 16689.3 16891.0 16755.3 0.38%