David Seymour: ACT not worried about National’s poll bump

Source: 1News

ACT leader David Seymour sits down with 1News political editor Jessica Mutch McKay to reflect on his party’s growing support in 2021 and his plans for 2022.

ACT leader David Seymour isn’t worried about National’s bump in the polls, but says keeping up the momentum for his party’s support in 2022 won’t be easy.

“We’ve massively exceeded people’s expectations two years in a row — in the election year and this year doubling our support,” Seymour said.

“To keep that going is a really big challenge, but I think we might just do it.”

ACT polled well in 2021.

A 1News Colmar Brunton poll from March — the first of the year — had the party at 8 per cent. By November, that had jumped to 14 per cent.

Then Christopher Luxon took National’s leadership in late November. A December Curia poll showed Luxon delivering his party a bump in the numbers, but seemingly at the expense of ACT. It also showed the centre-left bloc of Labour and the Greens still held the majority if an election was held today.

Seymour said if the National Party “do finally and properly get themselves organised, they’d be a lot more competitive”.

But, he said that wouldn’t take away from ACT’s offerings — the party had released five policy papers in 2021.

ACT would also be “equally competent” at economic management than National was if it was in Government, he added.

The November 1News Colmar Brunton poll also showed Labour's support had dropped by 2 percentage points to 41 per cent, while National’s had increased by 2 percentage points to sit at 28 per cent, Seymour pointed out.

He said Labour should be more worried about losing support.

“I’m a lot less worried than some commentators like to think I should be, and that’s because I’ve got a fairly good understanding, I hope, of what our activities are and what makes it attractive to people.”

As for whether the public was seeing too much of him and not enough of his caucus colleagues, Seymour said the public may have been “sceptical” at first of ACT’s new MPs, but they had settled in well.

He said the public already had six years to get to know him as ACT’s sole MP.

“What people didn’t see was the iceberg was actually growing quite a lot before it emerged with another nine MPs. The organisation has grown, and those MPs are starting to get known.

“But, I accept that most people see a lot more of me than the others by an order of magnitude. Yet, they’re first years … in the year to come, I think they’ll become much better known.”

He predicted Covid-19 wouldn’t be going away any time soon, and would probably dominate most of the political cycle in 2022.

Seymour said he hoped issues like housing affordability and education could become a focus as well next year.

Watch the rest of the interviews in this series: Jacinda Ardern, Christopher Luxon, Marama Davidson and James Shaw, Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer