Matthew Hooton Saturday predicted that Key would use current high poll ratings to finish off ACT, which he reckons would be a mercy killing.
Monday, Rob Hosking reported instead:
National’s message to its Epsom supporters looks likely to boil down to: “take a long anaesthetic swig of single malt, go down to the polling booth and vote for Hide.”The iPredict contract on ACT electing at least one member dropped a bit with Hooton's column then came back up with Hosking's. The contract on Hide's winning Epsom didn't move with Hooton's column, but moved a bit subsequent to Key's comments reported by Hosking. The market had already priced in Hooton's analysis but moved in response to Key's statements. There's currently about a 64% chance that ACT returns to Parliament, deriving entirely from Hide's chances of winning Epsom.
Farrar notes some of the strategic voting implications for Epsom. I'll add a few more.
- If you believe that ACT is an effective party on the right:
- Labour and Green should want to kill off ACT and choose National for their electorate vote.
- National supporters should vote for ACT.
- If you believe that ACT is ineffective and, in the absence of ACT, either economic liberals will move back to National and move National's preferred policy position or form a new and more effective liberal party:
- Labour and Green voters should vote for Rodney Hide in Epsom.
- Centrist National voters who genuinely like Key's current policies should vote for Hide in Epsom
- Bluer National voters should vote for National in Epsom.