All of the parties are campaigning almost everywhere for the party vote - after the disastrous National campaign of 2002 that saw it get just over 30% of the electorate vote but only around 21% of the party vote. Only the Alliance and Christian Heritage managed such a bizarre result, but then how many people hold their heads high now having voted for Graham Capill!?
However there are electorate races worth being interested in.
Epsom is clearly one, with ACT calling on National supporters to tick Hide for local MP (which makes sense), and Labour starting to call on both of its voters in Epsom to tick Worth. Enough has been said about that race!
Tauranga is the next one worth watching, as everyone who doesn't love Winston, loathes him and both National and Labour would love Bob Clarkson to defeat him. The fact that NZ First looked increasingly like National's most likely coalition/support partner further mobilises Labour supporters, who would love to see National cast adrift with insufficient friends in the house to form a government. Now if NZ First manages 5% party vote (which I suspect is likely) then him losing Tauranga will be a boon for the Nats - as he will feel psychologically damaged in his heartland - will not be able to demand as much from the Nats as he did in 1996 (where it was 34% Nats vs. 13% NZ First, rather than 40 odd for the Nats and 5%!). Brash may fear Winston not winning Tauranga and not getting 5%, but even under that scenario as long as the Nats get well over 40% AND beat Labour, the NZ First vote will be redistributed proportionately, meaning National would probably get about 3 more seats. Of course I'm expecting Russell Watkins to stir Winnie up a bit too!
However, there are a few other electorate races worth watching.:
Tamaki-Makaurauwhere John Tamihere, besides being a prick with his cats will give Pita Sharples a good run for his money. The only reason I want Tamihere to win is because he pisses off the politically correct anally retentives in the Labour caucus, and he can go "told you so" when Labour loses.
Wellington Central, where Bernard Darnton - Libertarianz Leader, will give the Anti-Capitalist Alliance candidate, Stephen Hay a run for his money. Gman reckons this is the REAL contest, and given I know Bernard very very well, I'm encouraging him with this.
Who frankly cares if Boo Boo Hobbs, and "let them rates rise" Blumsky win the seat - they are both in on the list, and if any constituency least needs representation in Parliament it is Wellington Central. The electorate is loaded with policy wonks, public sector managers and co. who have more influence on government than half of Parliament does. I know plenty of people in core departments who have more influence than most MPs, I was one of them!
I'd like to think Wigram and Ohariu-Belmont would be races, it would be very satisfying for Anderton and Dunne to be removed by their electorates - but it wont happen.
Auckland Central, where the ACT candidate - Helen Simpson is the only intelligent attractive woman standing, vs Tizard, Wong and Nandor. Parliament needs more attractive women, they are grossly under-represented.
Napier I just want to see that defender of the vile -Russell Fairbrother - lose to local businessman Chris Tremain. I know criminal lawyers are needed, but it is one thing to do your job, another to think that the scum of the earth are victims.