Alliance candidate Phillida Bunkle is sending out letters to every household in the Wellington Central electorate this weekend asking voters whether they think she should withdraw from the race.
The decision to poll the public follows a stormy City Voice/Scoop forum at St Andrew’s on the Terrace last night during which Bunkle publicly rebuked City Voice editor Simon Collins for a story published yesterday in the City Voice Wellington Central weekly newspaper. See… City Voice: Bunkle urges “Hobbs/Alliance” vote in the Headlines wire.
Ms Bunkle said her comments concerning tactical voting were meant in relation to the country as a whole and were not related solely to her situation in Wellington Central.
If Bunkle withdrew from the race it would give Labour’s Marian Hobbs a clear run against ACT Leader and encumbent MP Richard Prebble and avoid any vote splitting on the left.
The letter to voters sent by Bunkle today asks Wellington voters whether she should withdraw and, if so, whether voters would be prepared to give the Alliance their party vote in exchange.
The mass mail out will contain a postage paid form so that voters can send their responses back to the Alliance.
Bunkle has come under increasing pressure in the seat to withdraw to give the left the best chance of defeating Prebble. If ACT polled under five per cent, which now looks increasingly unlikely, Prebble would have to win the seat to get ACT into Parliament.
Scoop also understands that Bunkle has complained to the Press Council over the City Voice article.