Adams looks safe in Selwyn
by Kent Caddick
Selwyn MP Amy Adams looks to be a sure bet to hold her seat in the coming general election but whether the National MP is part of the next government is very much in the balance.
Voting in this year’s election has begun, with a number of advance polling stations opening around the country this week, however, the majority of Selwyn voters will probably cast their ballots on election day, which falls on Saturday, September 23. Ms Adams is ranked number seven on the National Party list and holds a number of senior ministerial posts including being the Ministers for Justice, Courts, and Social Housing.
Five electorate candidates are lining up to attempt to defeat Ms Adams in Selwyn which has for a long time been a National stronghold. They are: Tony Condon (Labour), Brian Davidson (ACT), Chrys Horn (Green Party), Lindy Michelle Palmer (NZ First) and Nicky Snoyink for the newly formed The Opportunities Party or TOP.
They all have the seemingly impossible task of overcoming Ms Adams 2014 election night majority of 20,561.
The second highest polling candidate in that election was former Selwyn district councillor Peter Hill who was standing for the Green Party. Hill gathered 4,064 votes compared to Adams 24,625.
Labour, which ran a disastrous 2014 campaign in Selwyn, is currently riding the ‘Jacinda effect’ with the party leaping up in the polling since Jacinda Ardern took the party reins last month.
However, while Labour’s 2017 candidate Tony Condon will no doubt benefit from that it is extremely unlikely he will be able to make much inroad into Ms Adams’ stranglehold in Selwyn.
Springfield Ecotour operator Nicky Snoyink, who failed in a bid for an elected seat on Environment Canterbury in last year’s local body elections, will represent the newcomer to the New Zealand political scene, the Gareth Morgan backed The Opportunities Party or TOP.
The Darfield born conservation advocate has a Masters in Environmental Policy from Lincoln University, and 20 years of experience working in the nature tourism sector.
Missing from this year’s candidate list is Selwyn political institution Bill Woods, who is taking a break to concentrate on his role as president of the Summit Road Society which is heavily involved with restoring the damage caused by the devastating firestorm on the Port Hills earlier this year.
In terms of the party vote in Selwyn National again shows its dominance, garnering 22,809 votes in 2014 with Labour coming in second with 4,654 votes, and the Green Party third with just under 4,000 votes.
With National and Labour close in the current polling the party vote may well decide who will be able to form the next Government.
Labour has already indicated its willingness to work with the Green Party, but the Greens have taken a hit in recent months due to the fallout from co-leader Metiria Turei’s resignation.
Once again that may well leave Winston Peters and New Zealand First in the role of kingmaker.