Prime Minister John Key has ruled out doing a deal with the Conservatives in the East Coast Bays, saying it would be a "bridge too far".
John Key speaks to media.
Source: 1 NEWS
National MP Murray McCully, who has held the East Coast Bays seat since 1987, will go up against Conservatives leader Colin Craig at this year's election. However Mr Key is not ruling out working with the Conservatives if they make it into Parliament.
"In East Coast Bays, where the Conservatives have a candidate, the only option to accommodate that party would be to remove a sitting MP from the ballot paper and that, as I have said, is a bridge too far. So there will be no electorate accommodation with the Conservatives," says Mr Key.
Without the deal, the Conservatives, led by Colin Craig, will now need to win 5% of the party vote to make it into Parliament. The latest ONE News/Colmar Brunton poll has the party polling at 2%.
Mr Craig says he never asked for a deal and is confident he will get 5%.
"We didn't ask for anything and we haven't had any conversations with National so I think it would have been surprising if it had been different," Mr Craig told ONE News.
However, National is set to strike a deal once again with ACT in Epsom and United Future in Ohariu.
ACT's Epsom candidate David Seymour says he's "very happy" to have the Prime Minister's endorsement.
However, Labour has hit out at National for using the coat-tailing provision to get ACT and United Future back into Parliament, claiming it's "blatant electoral manipulation".
National has also pin-pointed the Maori Party as another preferred coalition partner, while NZ First may get a look in.
NZ First leader Winston Peters is not ruling out working with a National-led Government alongside ACT and United Future.