The Press

Morgan considerin­g a run for Epsom seat


Gareth Morgan is actively considerin­g whether to make a run in the Auckland seat of Epsom this election.

A source close to Morgan, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed he was considerin­g the run after NBR first reported the move last night.

Morgan, leader of new political organisati­on The Opportunit­ies Party (Top), earlier indicated his party would prefer to remain list only.

But as his party has developed they have pitched several electorate candidates.

Morgan’s party is currently polling at around 1 per cent, meaning it would not gain any seats in Parliament without winning an electorate.

However, a recent NZME poll on party leaders gave Morgan 2 per cent support, ranking him higher than other minority leaders such as United Future’s Peter Dunne and ACT’s David Seymour.

It’s understood this poll gave Morgan the gas to consider the tilt.

Epsom is one of the most controvers­ial and consequent­ial electorate­s in the country.

Since 2005, it has been held by the ACT Party, often after a ‘‘deal’’ with National where they agree to signal that their voters should vote for the ACT candidate.

Morgan and Seymour have not yet commented.

Top’s deputy leader Geoff Simmons, who is standing in Wellington Central, said he didn’t know anything about a bid for Epsom. He acknowledg­ed that the maths changed considerab­ly if the party could win an electorate.

‘‘But he doesn’t want to be another Peter Dunne or David Seymour stuck in Parliament alone,’’ Simmons said of Morgan. ‘‘He’ll do it if he feels like he could get other people in with him.’’

Morgan has indicated the party would sit on the cross-benches and give their confidence votes to whichever rival could take on the most of Top’s policies.

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Gareth Morgan

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