ACT's future looks shaky as Simon Bridges noncommittal about Epsom deal

David Seymour may have lived to see another day on Dancing with the Stars NZ, but his party is staring into the abyss.

National leader Simon Bridges isn't committed to doing a deal in Epsom at the next election, and without National's support there's no chance ACT will survive in Parliament.

When asked by Newshub if Mr Seymour would get a deal in 2020, Mr Bridges said we'll "just have to wait and see".

In 2011 the deal hit its peak with the "teapot tape" scandal. National told Epsom voters not to vote for its candidate but for ACT's instead.

Coat-tailing under MMP means if an MP wins an electorate seat, they bring in more MPs the more votes they get, as Mr Seymour constantly reminded everyone with ads last election.

But for the deal to work, ACT needs to hold up its end of the bargain, which it's tried and failed to do. The party hadn't brought in any buddies since 2008. Year on year its votes have plummeted, down a phenomenal 113,367 since the party began in 1996.

For three elections, National's Epsom candidate, Paul Goldsmith, has had to grin and bear it as his party side-lined him for ACT. He told Newshub he's happy simply showing up to Parliament and holding the Government to account.

Without National, there's very little Mr Seymour can do prevent ACT's obliteration.

National knows the death of ACT would leave them no obvious coalition partners, and with coat-tailing there's always the chance of some bonus MPs.

But with chatter in National about cutting him off, Mr Seymour's going to have to do a lot more than jive and tango to make his case to stay here