Female candidates a sticking point at ASB Great Debate

  • 30/08/2017

While there weren't any female candidates on stage at the ASB Great Debate, that didn't stop the party representatives from showing off the women in their list.

ACT's David Seymour, Labour's Grant Robertson and Green's James Shaw all amped up the popularity of their female politicians, at the end of the finance debate in Queenstown on Wednesday night.

Mr Seymour was the first to sing their praises, seizing the opportunity during his one-minute wrap-up speech to advise why voting for ACT was the best call for female representation in Parliament.

"It's a shame that there is five men, no women on this stage tonight. The next two people on the ACT Party list are both women, if you want more women in Parliament, that's an extra reason to give your party vote to ACT," he said.

In response, Labour finance spokesperson Mr Robertson rather dryly one-upped him: "If David wants more women in charge, I've got a really easy way to deal with that."

"Party vote for Labour, and you'll get Jacinda Ardern as the Prime Minister," he said.

Mr Joyce, who was next, didn't mention his female candidates, nor did Mr Peters after him. But Mr Shaw finished it off - despite losing his female co-leader, one of his party's key sticking points, and running alone in the election.

"If we're getting into who has the most women, seven out of 10 of the top 10 of our list are women," he said.

While he may be down co-leader Metiria Turei, he still has lawyer Golriz Ghahraman - who Mr Shaw pointed out could become the first refugee to enter Parliament.

A Newshub-Reid Research poll at the start of the month found women were a key driver behind Ms Ardern's surge in the polls.

After she replaced Andrew Little as leader, Labour leaped to 33 percent in the poll, with almost two-thirds of that vote coming from women. In comparison, around 55 percent of Labour's supporters were women while Mr Little was in charge.