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Monday, 20 May 2019 12:29 pm

Epsom result crucial for Act’s re-entry

Nov 26th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

THE campaigning for this year’s election has spanned the whole country, but for the ACT party all eyes are on Epsom.

A large number of ACT candidates have gathered at Wellington Central candidate Stephen Whittington’s headquarters to watch the election results roll in.

All but Rimutaka candidate Alwyn Courtenay are expected to show, with the majority of the candidates opting out of their having their own events to support Mr Whittington.

Hutt South candidate Alex Speirs (left) says the focus is on Epsom and how crucial it is to the party’s entry into Parliament.

The latest Fairfax Media-Research International poll (after the Teapot Tapes) for Epsom show the ACT party vote at only 2.7%.

 John Banks’ vote as the preferred candidate is at 29.1% compared to National’s Paul Goldsmith at 45.5%.

He says that despite these figures, the party mentality remains fairly confident.

“ACT have never lead the polls going into the election,” he says

 “They’ve [Epsom voters] shown they can vote tactically. It’s been done before with the rise of Winston, from the ashes.”

Otaki candidate Peter McCaffrey (right) is more reserved in talking about the crucial results.

“We’ll wait and see,” he says.

He says that the polls don’t really reflect how Epsom voters will vote, especially in lieu of the Teapot Tapes.

 “If we don’t poll it won’t be because of the Teapot Tapes,” he says.

Dane Nowitz, campaign manager for Rongotai candidate Joel Latimer, says the repercussions of the tapes hit the Prime Minister the hardest.

“Mostly John Key’s got the worry,” he says.

Despite a hidden sense of anxiety towards the Epsom result, the atmosphere is relaxed and attendees are at ease.

Hutt South candidate Mr Speirs says, “Apart from the top ten [candidates on the list], everyone’s really relaxed.” 

Despite not having his own election night headquarters and not expecting a majority vote in Hutt South, he remains cheery.

“It’s a bit of a dent to the ego,” he says.

“If I get 100 votes in the Hutt South electorate I’ll be fairly happy.”

As for Epsom, he says that while results slowly coming through are positive, it’s still too early in the night to tell.

BAITED BREATH: Peter McCaffrey and Matt Gardner watch the results on screen and on a laptop.

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