Don Nicolson. Photo NZ Herald
Former Federated Farmers' boss Don Nicolson is to stand
for Act in Finance Minister Bill English's Clutha Southland
But Prime Minister John Key was quick today to rule out any
Epsom style electoral accommodation that would gift the safe
National seat to Act.
Act Leader Jamie Whyte this afternoon announced Mr Nicolson's
selection to contest the seat which Mr English is giving up
after holding it since 1990 when it was called Wallace. Mr
English will take a high spot on National's party list at the
September election, allowing young former ministerial staffer
and former tobacco industry lobbyist Todd Barclay to stand
Asked whether National would consider pulling its punches in
the electorate in an Epsom style deal to allow Mr Nicholson
into Parliament, Mr Key said: "No I don't think we'd consider
that in Southland".
Mr Nicolson, who farms near Invercargill downplayed any
suggestion he actually wanted the seat anyway , saying
simply, "I will be seeking the party vote in the Clutha
Meanwhile, Mr Key told reporters this afternoon he expected
to give voters as clear as possible an indication of any
electoral accommodations National was considering pursuing at
the election with three parties: Act, United Future and Colin
Craig's Conservative Party.
He was likely to make an announcement on all three at once
sometime in coming weeks to "give voters as much transparency
about our thinking as possible".
- Adam Bennett of the NZ Herald