ACT's David Seymour sees silver lining in poor poll

David Seymour's resisting the temptation to give Richie McCaw a call, despite the ACT Party's poor poll ratings.

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll had ACT at 0.4 percent, and - once again - relying on the voters of Epsom to get them into Parliament.

But talking to The Nation on Saturday, Mr Seymour turned that 0.4 percent into a positive.

"That means our potential market is 99.6 percent," he told host Lisa Owen.

"The ACT Party has got a bigger market of potential voters than any other party."

The results of the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll (Newshub.)
The results of the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll (Newshub.)

He believes the party could get around 4 percent in September - not enough to vault the 5 percent threshold to get into Parliament without an electorate.

But he rejects suggestions ACT only exists at the "grace" of the National Party.

"That's not how democracy works. I'm in Parliament at the grace of the people of the Epsom electorate."

As for whether Prime Minister Bill English will continue John Key's tradition of endorsing ACT's candidate in Epsom, Mr Seymour says it's "a moot point, because they would be mad not to endorse me".

Polls suggest New Zealand First could be the kingmaker at this year's election, with Mr English's popularity well below Mr Key's, and the growing star of Labour's Jacinda Ardern.

But Mr Seymour, ever the optimist, isn't having any of that.

"The media has got this election wrong - the narrative is that New Zealand First will be the kingmaker, no matter what.

"The real story of this election is going to be a resurgent ACT, it's going to be a story of how ACT stops NZ First, keeps Labour and the Greens out of power and actually makes the National Party accountable to the taxpayer and tackle some of those intergenerational issues that younger people are fed up with."

Mr Seymour says he'll be relying on good old-fashioned door-knocking and policies to win people over.

"What ACT's done in the past is parachute in big guns and big names. The temptation is, why don't you get Richie McCaw and Gemma Flynn? I don't think the right answer is to bring in people you have to beg to join the party."