As we speak, there are currently negotiations going on to form a three-party coalition. For many months leading up to the election, it was believed that it would be a simple process with just two parties – National and ACT. Then a couple of things happened, and one interview in particular on our online weekly programme “StraightTalk”. Did it change the election outcome?
As we speak, there are currently negotiations going on to form a three party coalition. For many months leading up to the election, it was believed that it would be a simple process with just two parties – National and ACT. Then a couple of things happened, and one in particular which changed the election outcome.
On September 25 – just under 3 weeks before the election but just one week before advance voting, our StraightTalk panel show had an interview with ACT leader David Seymour. As I will show you shortly, his polling was already in a bit of trouble.
At one stage, he was polling in the high teens, as high as 15% in the Roy Morgan poll – so that could be up to 18 MPs – and it was believed that he might be able to almost double the size of his current caucus from the current 10.
But then there were a number of issues around some of the ACT candidates with 5 candidates pulling out in the space of a few weeks, and National leader Christopher Luxon announced that National would not rule out working with NZ First.
But then David Seymour had an interview on StraightTalk with us.
A reminder that ACT ultimately ended up with just 9% on election night.
Here’s a little summary of how bad the interview a couple of weeks before the election was.
David Seymour took particular exception to 3 questions – one was a question where we were keen to find out just how much he wanted to expand the euthanasia law, because it was quite clear in overseas jurisdictions that it was being expanded into areas, never considered when first legalised in those countries. it seemed a fair question to us, but David took particular exception and said that we were lying about what was happening overseas. Have a Watch VIDEO
The second valid questions was where we asked Davod Seymour the legitimate question about why he was targeting a strong national seat of Tāmaki, rather than targeting a left-wing seat like Auckland Central. Why was he undermining a National stronghold when the National party had for many elections not campaigned in Epsom in order to help ACT. It seemed that there was another motivation for targeting Tamaki, and of course we knew what that was, because they themselves had admitted it. They were targeting Tamaki because they disagreed with Simon O’Connor’s stance on abortion.
Rather than defend their decision, David Seymour proceeded to deny that he had received any help from National in the Epsom seat. For anybody familiar with politics, this was clearly false. But then David took on the role of headmistress and proceeded to verbally discipline us because we dared to ask this question.
Have a watch
And finally, a question on the conversion therapy law which criminalises parents, counsellors and medical professionals who don’t accept gender ideology and the locking of children into transgenderism. Interestingly, as you’ll see from the excerpt, he actually eventually raises the exact concerns that we were asking him about.
Despite our attempts to politely end, the interview – the train wreck, interview – David Seymour continued to treat us with contempt.
To be honest, I have been interviewing politicians, including Helen Clarke, don’t brush Sue Bradford, Tim Barnett and Minnee other politicians that I may not agree with, but in 21 years the interview with David Seymour would be one of the most hostile and to be honest, I was shocked by his attitude.
The interview got significant viewership on our YouTube account. There was almost 29,000 views.
On our Facebook page there was almost 56,000 views, and when you add up all our social media platforms, there was about 85,000+ views in total.
Everybody was talking about it. What the mainstream media didn’t notice was that the ACT vote started to collapse
The media say that it was because of Luxon’s announcement that he would work with NZ First, and there may be some truth to that. But the overwhelming feedback from voters since the election, including from senior ACT Party members who have spoken to me is that the interview resulted in a significant number of people changing their vote.
And it may just be that we are dealing with a three-party coalition rather than a 2-party coalition because of that one interview.
The other point that has been made by both senior members of political parties but also our support base is that unlike the mainstream media, we actually gave the political leaders the opportunity to talk. We weren’t trying to score points or get a headline. And viewers appreciated the fact that they could actually hear fully what the political leaders believed in and what their policies were.
In the case of David Seymour, we ultimately let him dig his own hole, which was catastrophic for the party vote.
So there you have it. We will never know for sure just how much that interview damaged the ACT vote and helped National and NZ First, but what’s most interesting is that it was other media – not the mainstream media – that provided these interviews which had the greatest impact on the election outcome.
It reminds us just how much the media landscape has changed and why the mainstream media are struggling to survive at the moment.
The good news is that StraightTalk will be back next year and will continue to make waves as one of the few programmes about that is unashamedly and unapologetically socially conservative.
Hopefully the politicians will realise that when they next come on the programme.