ACT could get to 10% of the party vote if there is a poll surge on the back of the wall to wall media coverage of the Brash coup this week. The financial interests that stand behind ACT could also afford a large-scale marketing campaign. So if ACT does rise on the right who will lose? In the short term one might expect right-wing National voters to move into the ACT camp favouring a more hardline approach to economic policy. However, this is unlikely to really move the dial on the contest between the centre-right and the centre-left. It is simply a reallocation within the same bloc.
The real change may be from NZ First to ACT if those who favour a hardline on race relations, and currently thinking of a dalliance with NZ First, plumb for ACT instead. This would genuinely shift votes from the centre-left to the centre-right. Of course ACT comes with quite different economic policies under cover of their “one law for all” race-based campaign. How long it takes for these voters to recognise that fact might determine the outcome of the election in November. More importantly it might determine the economic direction of the country for the next 3-6 years.