8 Oct 2020

Election 2020: ACT, Greens in race for third place

7:43 pm on 8 October 2020

While Labour and National are aspiring for first prize, ACT and the Greens are racing for the bronze medal.

ACT leader David Seymour and Greens co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson.

ACT leader David Seymour and Greens co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson. Photo: RNZ

According to the latest 1News Colmar Brunton poll, both parties have a shot at being the third biggest party in Parliament after election day.

Compared with last week's poll, support for ACT is unchanged on eight percent, while the Greens have dropped one point to six percent.

It's unfamiliar territory for ACT leader David Seymour, who has led a caucus of one for two terms. While the Greens are just grateful to be in the race at all.

Seymour is clearly popular in his Epsom electorate, and its likely he'll retain the seat, but National scooped up almost 60 percent of the party vote in the electorate in 2017.

But after a tumultuous year for the party, it appears some of National's support may be drifting ACT's way.

While campaigning in Parnell, Seymour was greeted by many members of the public who happily told the MP he was going to get both their party and electorate vote this election.

One asked: "I think a lot of true-blue voters are in a bit of a conundrum. Do they pick two ticks yellow or do they go the traditional one yellow, one blue?"

National leader Judith Collins doesn't think ACT has become more of a threat than an ally.

"The number one message I'm getting out to National voters and people who want a National-led government is to party vote National. It is really important they do that," she said.

Seymour's popularity appears to be paying off, with one supporter funding a giant ACT billboard on Auckland's busy Queen Street.

"You know politics can be a very interesting business. I think if you were going to pick someone to have their face put up on a building, you might've chosen someone with a nicer face, but this is the one I've got and we're asking people to vote for it," he said standing in-front of the large billboard.

ACT leader David Seymour, on the Election 2020 campaign trail.

ACT leader David Seymour, on the Election 2020 campaign trail. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

And the support is evident in the polls too. The latest polling shows ACT at eight percent - the highest result the party's ever seen.

It means Seymour could be bringing 11 new friends to Parliament - which he admits may not be so straight-forward.

"Look, it's going to be a really big challenge if we end up with a number of ACT MPs elected on the night, to make sure we meld into a really high quality team but I'm up for that challenge," he said.

With nine days to go, Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson is pushing to get herself, and some colleagues, back into Parliament.

"It is really about getting as many MPs, the strongest green heart in a government we could possibly get," Davidson said.

The Greens are sitting behind ACT on six percent - just one point above the magic five percent threshold needed to get into Parliament.

Davidson is relieved her party has retained its support, after the Green School fiasco meant the Greens' campaign got off to a rocky start,

"It was encouraging to see polls which I think are a reflection of us focusing on the issues and being able to face the challenges and stay focused on the big issues we're trying to deal with," she said.

Just ten days out from election day, its shaping up to be a neck and neck race for third place.

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