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Ohariu deal could give Dunne a problem

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 1/06/2016 Peter Wilson, Political Writer

Peter Dunne: A boycott is possible. © Peter Dunne: A boycott is possible. The Greens won't say whether they'll stand aside in Ohariu to give Labour a clear run at government ally Peter Dunne in next year's election.

There's speculation they could make deals on marginal seats following Tuesday's announcement that they're going to work together in the lead-up to the 2017 election.

A seat that's ripe for a deal is Ohariu, which Mr Dunne held with a 710 vote majority in 2014.

He polled 13,569 votes and won because Labour and the Greens split the vote against him.

Labour's candidate won 12,859 votes and the Greens' candidate 2764 - a total 15,623.

"We haven't discussed any of that, we haven't had those kind of conversations," Greens' co-leader Metiria Turei told reporters on Wednesday.

"It's always been our intention to stand good Green Party candidates across all electorates."

Mr Dunne, the United Future Party leader who has held Ohariu since 1984 and has a support agreement with the government, says he isn't worried about a joint bid to oust him.

"I'll be back in 2017 and for a long time after that," he said.

Another obvious possibility for a deal is Auckland Central.

National's Nikki Kaye won it in 2014 with a 600 vote majority.

She polled 12,494 votes against 11,894 won by Labour's Jacinda Ardern and 2080 by the Greens' Denise Roche.

Prime Minister John Key thinks Labour and the Greens will probably make electorate seat deals.

"That could have some impact, but what decides elections and the government is the party vote, not the number of electorate seats a party holds," he said.

All parties run as many candidates as they can to raise their profiles in electorates, hoping to win more party votes.

National runs candidates in Epsom every election, even though it lets its supporters know they should vote for the ACT candidate.

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