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City Voice: Bunkle urges “Hobbs/Alliance” vote

THE Alliance candidate for Wellington Central, Phillida Bunkle, has finally endorsed tactical voting in the electorate by urging people to give their electorate votes to Labour.

“The strategy to make a change of government has to be – vote Labour in the electorate and Alliance on the list,” she told a Labour Day rally in Civic Square on 25 Oct.

But afterwards she told City Voice that she intends to keep her name on the ballot paper when nominations close next Wednesday (3 Nov).

Both National and the Greens have allocated party list candidates to campaign for the party vote in Wellington Central, but have opted not to have their names on the ballot for the electorate vote so as not to split the vote.

National wants its supporters to vote for Act MP Richard Prebble, to ensure that Act stays in Parliament. If Prebble loses Wellington Central, Act would need 5% of the nationwide party vote to get any seats. But if he holds Central, under MMP Act will get seats in proportion to its party vote even if this is under 5%.

Green list candidate Sue Kedgley told a City Voice/Scoop election forum on 21 Oct that the only way to defeat Prebble was to vote for one of the two centre-left candidates still on the electorate ballot paper, Phillida Bunkle or Labour’s Marian Hobbs. She declined to choose between them.

Bunkle came under repeated questioning from the floor at another candidates’ meeting in Wadestown on 20 Oct about whether she would withdraw to give Hobbs a clear run against Prebble. The last Evening Post poll in Wellington Central (27 Sept) showed that Bunkle’s 11% support, if added to Hobbs’ 37%, would give the centre-left the edge over Prebble’s 45%.

Bunkle replied that she needed to keep her name on the electorate ballot to get a chance to speak at all meetings. National list MP Annabel Young was barred from speaking at a Victoria University forum on 13 Oct on the grounds that she is not standing in the electorate.

“I am currently thinking about what the best democratic option is – how you can keep faith with MMP, how you can keep faith with democracy, and still retain the right of people to give expression to their point of view,” Bunkle said.

“My current thinking is that there is no perfect answer to that problem.”

After the Labour Day rally, she said some people would never vote for Labour again after Labour city councillors formed an effective coalition with Mayor Mark Blumsky’s Wellington Alive ticket last year.

“It’s a question of maintaining a democratic choice. Some people would feel that choice was taken away from them if they were not able to vote for me,” she said.


- first published Wellington’s inner city newspaper City Voice in the latest edition out today…

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