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ACT is Set to Increase Its Vote this Election

ACT is Set to Increase Its Vote this Election

Friday 12 Jul 2002 Richard Prebble Speeches -- Governance & Constitution

ACT is Set to Increase Its Vote this Election

Speech by Hon Richard Prebble, Leader ACT New Zealand To the Property Council of New Zealand At the Centra Hotel, Christchurch On Friday 12th July 2002 at 2pm

The real story this week is that Labour is below 50 percent in the polls and can't form a majority government. So those who were thinking of voting Labour to stop the Greens, now know that strategic voting will be wasted.

I expect National to be the beneficiary and National's vote to rise as National voters return to that party.

Labour's problem has increased. The acrimonious and personal attacks between Helen Clark and Jeanette Fitzsimmons make it hard to see how the Greens and Labour can form a stable government. Helen Clark's refusal to rule out Winston Peters as a coalition partner is causing Labour real damage. Labour's support among new New Zealanders is in free fall.

Voters with memories remember that Mr Peters failed to "fix it", not once, but twice.

In ACT's tracking polls Mr Peters' support is falling - he hit 10 percent one night and is now going down. Mr Peters' insurance policy of Tauranga is working against him. Why give New Zealand First a party vote, so bringing in his poor-quality MPs?

Mr Peters is a one man band and his supporters know they don't need to vote for his party for him to be returned. Mr Peters' failure to campaign on the issues of health, education and the economy are also now counting against his party.

ACT is confident of steadily building our support. ACT's strong stand on Crime, and fresh solutions like Zero Tolerance for Crime, has got the electorate's interest.

ACT's support for the McLeod Tax Review proposal for a tax cut for companies and a reduction in income tax - a tax cut for every worker - is a policy that is gaining legs. By using McLeod's carefully-costed proposal, ACT's low tax policy this election has been bullet proof.

National and New Zealand First have stolen ACT's policy of a timetable for Treaty claims, making it impossible for Labour to attack ACT as extreme. ACT's focus group polling shows that ACT is seen as a responsible, mainstream party. Twenty-eight percent of voters say they are considering giving ACT their party vote.

ACT has this week been campaigning on our solution to the hospital waiting list problem. ACT's answer is to use private hospitals to provide treatment for public hospital patients who have been waiting beyond the medically-safe time. This is ACT's patient guarantee. It is a policy that will, in the medium term, save money and reduce hospital waiting lists.

Labour's attack that ACT is undermining the public hospital sector has fallen flat. ACT has pointed out that Labour has already used the private sector for high profile cases. The only difference is that ACT wants the patient guarantee extended to all those who are waiting.

Next week, ACT will concentrate on education and our opposition to the NCEA experiment. Only ACT in Parliament has opposed the NCEA. ACT favours Truth-in-Education - with marks, exams and standards. ACT's polling shows that concern over education is greater than the argument over whether the right number of tests were done on some corn.

The latest National Business Review poll today confirms the issues voters are most concerned about are health, education, crime and violence, and the economy. Genetic modification is bottom of the list of 11 issues in the poll.

ACT's polling also shows that the electorate is turned off by the personal abuse that the parties of the Left are engaged in. The electorate has noticed that ACT has run an issue-based compaign - with well researched, pratical, positive solutions.

I predict that ACT will increase its vote this election, as the party has in every election it has contested.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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