From Ashburton Online
Hat Tip Andrew Falloon
The “only South Island party” was how ACT MPs Rodney Hide and Heather Roy lightheartedly described themselves when visiting Ashburton on Thursday. Mr Hide originally hails from Rangiora and Ms Roy from Palmerston in the south. They said their party had always been well supported in the Rakaia electorate and they, along with other party members, were touring the electorate to show that they in return supported it and did not have a profile just at election time.
“Rakaia is an electorate that we have always taken an interest in,” said Ms Roy. They were concerned at the “unfortunate” position sitting National MP Brian Connell, who has been dropped from his own caucus, had found himself in. The people of Rakaia had had their political representation “neutered” with the sitting MP not having any say in the party’s parliamentary affairs. They would be naming their candidate for Rakaia quite early and were expecting good support come election time.
Asked if they thought ACT could wrest control of such a blue ribbon seat as Rakaia, Mr Hide said his seat of Epsom was an example of people voting against what all the pundits predicted, and the same could happen in Rakaia, while Ms Roy said rural voters were well informed. They wondered why, if Rakaia was such a safe seat for National, the party had not shown more interest in it by fielding a candidate who would groomed to take on major responsibilities.