Six Act MPs would make it into Parliament after the election based on current polling. The Herald's press gallery meets the candidates.
Number 1: David Seymour - leader - Epsom
With its current polling, Act looks like it might end its nine-year stint as a "party of one" with five MPs looking to join leader David Seymour in Parliament after the election.
"We've got a lot of diversity actually," said leader David Seymour.
"Brooke's a vegetarian, Chris is a South Islander, Nicole and I are Ngāpuhi. And hopefully we'll have a pretty able group with different policy areas and different expertise."
Number 4 on their list, Chris Baillie, even plays jazz.
"I don't know if that makes you more electable - but that's got to be good," said Seymour.
The candidates went through Act's "School of Practical Politics" last year where they study campaigning with the party, learn how to stay on message and get media training.
They also have to get a police check so there's no surprises.
After graduating from politics school, candidates lobby the party's board members for their ranking on the party list, said Seymour.
"In practice it's a pretty conciliatory sort of a discussion and done by consensus. I don't think we've actually had to come to blows over any placements."
Number 2: Brooke Van Velden - Wellington Central
Brooke Van Velden isn't just Act's resident millennial, but is also their go-to vegetarian. And the 27-year-old isn't much of a shooter.
"I think that's quite obvious," she said.
But the deputy leader is supportive of her party's opposition to the firearms legislation.
"We need to uphold democracy, because without proper democratic process, we don't have anything to stand on.
"So while I don't have a personal attachment to people with firearms, I can understand why this is such a large issue for them."
Van Velden has been touted as "the future of the party" by leader David Seymour who worked closely with her when she was a staffer who had the sole job of getting the End of Life Choice Bill passed.
She's standing on issues which affect her generation - affordable housing, the legacy of debt of Covid-19 and mental health.
Van Velden wrote the party's policy to reform the entire mental health system to redirect the current $2 billion of spending by the Ministry of Health and DHBs towards a single commission which she said would reduce bureaucracy.
Van Velden grew up on Auckland's North Shore and got into politics while studying economics at university and ran for Act in 2017 in Auckland Central.
This time she's standing for Wellington Central where she now lives in a flat and enjoys yoga and tapestry in what little spare time she has.
Van Velden said her crash-course in the machinery of Parliament to get the End of Life Choice Bill means she's prepared for the demands of being an MP - should everything go to plan on September 19.
And in light of the back-to-back political scandals erupting from the halls of power recently, the Herald asked whether van Velden had any skeletons hiding in her closet she'd like to air before being elected.
"Not that I know of. The only thing I'd declare that I'd consider a scandal is that I voted for the Green Party twice."
- Amelia Wade
Number 3: Nicole McKee - Rongotai
Act is the first political party Nicole McKee has joined and that happened only two months ago.
She met leader David Seymour last year when they both became the public face of opposition to gun law reforms in the wake of the Christchurch mosque massacre.
McKee, aged 48, appeared before a select committee as the spokesperson for the Council of Licenced Firearms Owners.
"Everybody's really hurting but the answer wasn't right," she said "And if I wasn't going to get up and say something, who was going to?
"But I was terrified at getting up and doing the public speaking. It is not something I've ever been trained to do."
McKee was born in Lower Hutt, moved to Rotorua in her early teens, worked as a secretary in the law firm of former Rotorua MP Paul East and Roger Brewster for four years, then returned to Wellington.
She lives in Hataitai and is standing in Rongotai electorate.
She became pregnant at age 24 but her partner died in a car accident just a week before their daughter was born.
Her world was turned upside down and she went on a benefit for six months.
Three years later she met her husband, and they have had three children – her four kids are aged 23, 19, 18 and 16.
Her husband first introduced her to target shooting about 20 years ago.
For her gun cubs was a family sport. She met great people and it involved a discipline she enjoyed.
McKee says she and her husband shoot deer occasionally to fill the freezer. They won a ballot to go hunting near Eastbourne in March, but the lockdown put paid to that.
"I'm not after the big stags when I go hunting. I just want meat to feed the family. I'm not after the trophies."
McKee cites Sir Winston Churchill as a political hero, his ability to write speeches and keep a country united during wartime.
"He always had the best interest of his people at heart and I admire that."
- Audrey Young
Number 4: Chris Baillie - Nelson
Chris Baillie admits he is very much in the minority in his profession when it comes to his political views: he is a teacher.
The Nelson-based Baillie, 58, is a special needs teacher at Nayland College and also owns a pub – The Honest Lawyer.
Baillie laughs when asked if his teaching colleagues tend to be more left-wing than he is, putting his different views down to being a small business owner, and his time in the police for 14 years until he returned to teaching in 2010.
Baillie joined Act at the end of 2019, and after meeting leader David Seymour early this year, decided to run for Parliament.
"I saw David Seymour over the last couple of years really standing out from anyone in Parliament really. I thought 'yeah, I'm more aligned with that way of thinking'."
He is ranked at four in the Act Party list – and if Act keeps up its strong polling could well be at Parliament.
The policies that attracted him to Act included its small business policies, as well as libertarian issues: the proposed "hate speech" legislation and the firearms reforms after the Christchurch mosque attacks.
Act opposes both measures, and Baillie sees them as an ever-creeping erosion of rights.
"I'm not a hunter, I'm not a shooter, the only shooting I did was training when I was in the police. But if you're going to make such sweeping changes, it must be done properly with the correct consultation."
Baillie's candidacy has already seen him become the target of political rivals querying his views on climate change.
Baillie set up a discussion group at the school saying he was concerned about the impact "hysteria" about climate change was having on the mental health of students.
He says he does believe in climate change: "Of course [climate change'] is an issue. But I was seeing students, and I still do, who are affected by the hysteria of it. I don't think that is helpful."
Behind the teacher and business owner, is a jazz band man. Baillie plays the trumpet.
"I'm in a couple of jazz bands here. My highlight was playing in the Roger Fox Big Band when I was at university for a couple of years."
- Claire Trevett
Number 5: Simon Court - Te Atatū
Simon Court has dutifully been adding to the compost bin out the back of his Te Atatū home for years and is eagerly awaiting the time he can use it in his garden.
Court shares his green thumb with the youngest of his three teenage sons, Louis, 13, who has Down syndrome.
"He loves helping out, filling the wheelbarrow, he can dig a pretty good hole and he can fill in a pretty good hole."
Louis is one of the main reasons Court wants to get into Parliament.
He used to work for the Auckland Council as a civil and environmental engineer and asked if Louis could work with some of the maintenance crews but the resounding answer was "absolutely not".
They didn't want to take on the health and safety risk despite Louis being high-functioning, said Court.
One of his ambitions is to remove barriers for disabled people so Louis can follow his dream of becoming a zookeeper.
Court, who's voted Green a couple of times before "eventually seeing the light" and is now Act's environment spokesman, is also passionate about water and waste. He has a particular interest in landfills.
"I personally think that landfills are an answer to an old problem. They're not the answer to future problems."
Court is an old Auckland Grammar boy and studied civil engineering at Unitec. He's worked in both the public and private sectors in Auckland, Wellington and Fiji and now runs his own engineering firm.
Court said he'd been a supporter of Act for about 22 years but joined the party after going to a party event in December where he got chatting to president Tim Jago and leader David Seymour.
"I thought, 'Crikey of all the years of being the best engineer I could be, I could not achieve as much as if I actually put myself up for public service as an elected MP'."
- Amelia Wade
Number 6: James McDowall - Waikato
He's not in Parliament yet, but James McDowall is already trying to get on the good side of his would-be boss.
"Frankly, we need more people like David Seymour in Parliament," he said.
McDowall – who was born in Pukekohe – is number six on Act's list and is confident about his chances of becoming an MP.
"People are taking us really seriously and, most importantly, people are really figuring out just what Act is about."
He comes from a self-described varied background.
He moved to Hamilton, where he lives today, in 2006 where he started a Bachelor of Management Studies at Waikato University.
Part of that degree was completed at Maastricht University in the Netherlands the following year.
After working full time for a number of years, he finished his PhD in Strategic Foresight in 2017.
McDowall, who is 32 and has a two-year-old daughter, also co-owns a number of small businesses, including an immigration law firm with his wife, who is an immigration lawyer.
He runs the non-legal side of the firm.
He also helps runs a strategic foresight consultancy firm but for his day job, he works for a large NGO in the mental health and homelessness sector, where he runs the digital marketing team.
He did not want to name the NGO he worked for.
In amongst all of that, he is studying law – although he said he will give that up if he's elected to Parliament.
"Now, politics is calling," he said.
He is a long-time Act supporter, first getting involved in 2006 after being wooed by then-leader Rodney Hide, who explained the concept of liberalism to him.
In terms of Act policies, he's very passionate about the party's guns policy.
As he should be – he helped draft it.
In fact, he calls himself a "firearm person" who has a number of collectable pistols.
He was critical of the lack of consultation in the firearm community during the law changes.
McDowall said it's unfair the law-abiding firearm owners are being stung by bad policymaking.
- Jason Walls