TOP confirms it may put up a candidate in Epsom

The people of Epsom deserve an alternative to gerrymandering, party leader Gareth Morgan says

The Opportunities Party has confirmed it is considering putting up a candidate in Epsom, with party leader Gareth Morgan saying it would be “fun” to give centre right voters in the electorate a real choice.

But the economist/philanthropist turned would-be politician stopped short of saying he would be the candidate standing there.  

Mr Morgan says the outcome of this consideration will be revealed on August 1 at a campaign rally in Epsom.

TOP’s announcement comes after NBR Last week revealed Mr Morgan was “actively considering” throwing his hat into the ring to stand in Epsom in September’s general election.  

Today Mr Morgan says the “gerrymandering” of the Epsom electorate has certainly got him thinking about how, under MMP, “gaming the electoral system” has become such a political tactic by establishment parties.

“National has done this for a few elections now – encouraged their Epsom voters to give their electorate votes to the far right, neo-liberal ACT party in return for the undertaking by ACT to be cannon fodder for a National-led coalition,” he says.

“Centre-right voters in Epsom have to swallow a rat by supporting ACT for that seat. That must be particularly galling for centre-right liberal National voters who are expected to dump their principles for the ‘good’ of their party.”

Because of this, he says he is considering whether it “would be fun to give the reasonable centre-right people of Epsom a real choice” so they don’t have to line up with the “neo-fascism of the hard right that is ACT since Don Brash and company contaminated its ranks.”

He says the people of Epsom deserve an alternative but stops short of saying he would be the one to stand in the electorate for TOP, saying instead that the party could “certainly find a candidate keen to take on the challenge of offering the centre-right party voters of Epsom a principled choice.”

“Given TOP’s agenda is purely best practice policy that champions the free and competitive markets of old-fashioned democratic capitalism and eschews the oligarchic market and political dominance that is the altar of ACT’s neoliberal scourge, maybe the good folk of Epsom deserve an alternative to fascism as a means to their ends.”

He says TOP would work with either a Labour-led or a National-led government "to achieve the policy progress that we demand all New Zealanders deserve."

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