ACT's vote falls, but David Seymour clings to Epsom

  • 24/09/2017

ACT is holding the seat of Epsom after the National Party again asked its supporters to vote for ACT leader David Seymour.

He had 9608 votes with 67.7 percent of the votes counted in the Auckland seat, giving him a 3132-vote lead over National's Paul Goldsmith. In 2014 Mr Seymour had a majority of 4250.

Labour's David Parker was on 3754.

Mr Seymour was expected to win again, but ACT wanted more than one MP in Parliament. For that it had to lift its share of the party vote to 1.2 percent - well above the 0.69 percent it won in 2014. After Saturday night, ACT had 0.5 percent of the vote.

Some commentators said the high vote for Mr Goldsmith in Epsom suggested National voters were getting sick of the election deal, though many Labour and Greens supporters reportedly gave Mr Goldsmith their electorate vote in an attempt to rid Parliament of ACT.

ACT is not expected to be part of any coalition Government with National if NZ First is also a partner.

"We've kept NZ First and Winston Peters out of Government for three terms in a row, so they'll probably be pretty keen to keep ACT out if they've got a chance," Mr Seymour told TVNZ. "But look, we'll play an important role in opposition."

Just who forms the Government remains to be seen, with NZ First currently in a position to choose either National, or Labour and the Greens.

National seems in the box seat, having a clear lead as the biggest party, but the margin is expected to narrow once the special votes are counted.

NZN / Newshub.