The rise of ACT: David Seymour's one man political band looks set to multiply exponentially

The ACT Party's one man political band looks set to multiply exponentially.

Riding high on poll results which would see ACT win an incredible nine seats this election, leader David Seymour had an absolute blinder in the first traditional town hall debate of the election campaign, which was finally possible under alert level 1.

Dwarfed by the majesty of central Otago, ACT's dinky little campaign bus belies the meteoric success of its single parliamentary occupant, David Breen Seymour.

And my how far he has come, from desperation on the dance floor in 2018's Dancing with the Stars, to becoming a vote magnet ahead of the 2020 general election.

"You've got my party vote so there we go," a supporter told Seymour as he campaigned in Otago on Wednesday, with others telling him "we like what you're doing" and "we're already on your side".

"It was very strong support," Seymour told Newshub. "It was probably disproportionate; I don't think ACT is on 70 percent nationwide."

That 'disproportionate' popularity reflected at Tuesday night's ASB Great Debate, the first real life, proper proportioned audience of the campaign, and they were lapping up zinger after zinger from Seymour.

"I thought James Shaw wasn't going to keeping talking until the debt was paid off," he joked about the Green Party co-leader.

"I humbly submit that ACT can do the dance and the delivery," was another crowd pleaser.

Seymour was rivalled only by Labour's Grant Robertson, who cracked a joke about Seymour and National's Paul Goldsmith both campaigning for the Epsom electorate, which Seymour currently holds.

"The problem for the brothers Epsom on either side of me..." Robertson quipped.

He may have lost the debate to Seymour but won the heckler take down award, when he hit back at an audience member wearing a 'Make Ardern Go Away' cap.

"She has more courage and intellect than you will ever have," Robertson told the man.

He took that same sass to Goldsmith over his $4 billion fiscal hole.

"Paul, your plan doesn't add up."

If Seymour won the Great Debate and Robertson pulled in second, National and Goldsmith lost, and in such a true blue slice of the country, that is a very bad omen.

The Clutha-Southland electorate has been cursed for National with problematic MPs - Hamish Walker this election, and Todd Barclay last time.

Seymour may be about to get a lesson in problematic MPs himself, because a popularity surge would mean a much bigger, more unwieldy caucus than his current party of one.

Newshub asked Seymour if he's confident he won't be bringing in any problematic MPs.

"I've always said all politicians are problematic."