Prime Minister John Key has sworn off having symbolic cups of tea with Act in Epsom this election, but has as good as endorsed Act candidate David Seymour by agreeing to be guest of honour at a fundraising dinner for him next week.
The $200-a-head dinner is next Wednesday night. Mr Seymour is hoping for at least 100 guests.
Act has been a support partner of National for two terms now and Mr Key has already said National could work with the party again. The dinner is an effective signal to the electorate to vote for the Act candidate but give National the party vote.
Gaining an electorate seat eliminates the need for a party to cross the 5 per cent threshold in order to get extra MPs.
Last election Mr Key's symbolic cup of tea with Act candidate John Banks was derailed by the furore over a recording device left on their table by a cameraman.
Meanwhile, the Act Party is today expected to announce that former MP Kenneth Wang is the party's new deputy leader to new leader Jamie Whyte. Dr Whyte's opponent for the leadership, John Boscawen, proposed Mr Wang become deputy leader. Audrey Young