David Seymour's rival in Epsom is deflecting claims he may run against him in 2020.
National leader Simon Bridges isn't committed to doing a deal in Epsom at the next election, and without National's support it's unlikely ACT will survive in Parliament.
Epsom-based National MP Paul Goldsmith has sacrificed the role as electorate MP in three elections for ACT - but he isn't giving anything away.
"I'm very happy to do what I'm doing here in Parliament, which is holding the Government to account," he says.
"I see it as a great privilege to come down here every day."
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.
National knows without ACT they would have no obvious coalition partners, and with coat-tailing there's always the chance of some bonus MPs. But without National, there's very little Mr Seymour can do prevent ACT's obliteration.
"That's something our leader has to work his way through," Mr Goldsmith says.
"We're very conscious we're [in] an MMP environment. It's important to have support of parties."