Labour-Greens Mt Roskill deal 'rotten', says ACT's David Seymour

David Seymour (file)
David Seymour (file)

The Greens' decision not to stand a candidate in the likely Mt Roskill by-election stinks of hypocrisy, says ACT Party leader David Seymour. 

There will be a by-election in Mt Roskill if current MP, Labour's Phil Goff, wins the Auckland mayoralty - which polls suggest is incredibly likely.

Michael Wood, Labour's candidate for the seat, stood against Mr Seymour in Epsom at the last general election, and accused him of dirtying the electoral system by doing a deal with National for the seat.

Mr Wood even showed up to a debate on The Nation with a bag of flour to stand in for National candidate Paul Goldsmith, who was trying to keep a low profile and declined to appear.

Mr Seymour says the latest move from Labour and the Greens is no different.

"He said Epsom was a rotten borough because John Key endorsed me. Is he now going to say Mt Roskill is a rotten borough that's going to be used and abused because Mt Roskill voters don't get a choice?

But ACT will not be standing a candidate in Mt Roskill either, Mr Seymour vocal in his support for National's candidate Parmjeet Parmar.

For the last few elections, ACT has benefitted from an arrangement in Epsom where National does stand a candidate, but asks supporters to vote for the ACT candidate. This is to take advantage of MMP's 'overhang' rule, which lets parties with less than 5 percent of the vote into Parliament if they win an electorate.

ACT taunted Mr Wood on Twitter, saying the party "can't wait for your use of props in the Mt Roskill debates" and posting a picture of a bag of quinoa.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says it's not a "dirty electorate deal" because they're being very open about it. Labour and the Greens have signed a deal to work together to win next year's general election as a team.

"This is not about a deal - it's about a collaboration to achieve our ultimate aim of changing the Government. It's that transparency and that openness that really matters to the public."

Before the 2014 election, when Prime Minister John Key came out and bluntly told Epsom residents to vote for Mr Seymour, National and ACT would stage a morning cuppa in front of news cameras.

That tradition ended with the infamous teatape scandal.