Act leader David Seymour has been pilloried for his performances on Dancing with the Stars but there may be a real genius behind Seymour making a goose of himself.

The more the judges pleaded with the public to treat it as a serious dancing show and wailed about the wrong people getting into the bottom two, the more people voted for Seymour.

The show has given up fighting it to try to save better dancers. Last week's routine tipped over into self-parody. There was the ludicrous get-up, a la Richard Simmons in fluorescence. There was the twerking.

Many thought it would be the end of him when Suzy Cato went. Lovely, cheery Suzy Cato who taught most of Generation Y where their heads, shoulders, knees and toes were.


There were even calls for him to withdraw and why should he?

There are many theories as to who is voting for Seymour.

Some said well-heeled Act Party supporters were voting often. Others said Labour Party supporters wanted Dancing with the Stars to be Seymour's epitaph so voted for him to stay to burn up political credibility with every step he took.

The most visible pool is young people – teenagers at schools who have hit social media to say they are voting for Seymour and what a laugh it all is.

Seymour's genius, albeit accidental, is getting an early bid in for Generation Z.

The young ones are apparently voting for him because when he dances he is the epitome of useless and ridiculous no matter how hard he tries.

One likened it to Britain voting for "Boaty McBoatface".

It augurs well for Gen Z's sense of joie de vivre and love of the absurd.


Political parties have tried for decades to attract the youth vote.

Yet with a few awkward sashays across the dance floor, Seymour has succeeded. They are even paying 99 cents a pop to do so and Seymour is no doubt hoping some of them will go on to vote in a general election when the vote is free.

That is far from certain but "rogue" candidates often do well among the young because they capture the imagination and are seen as a bit of character.

There is a risk Seymour's antics alienate what is left of Act's core vote but that is already so diminished a microscope is needed to see it.

Nor is Seymour so shallow that it can be said he has sacrificed his politics completely and become a walking gimmick.

The messages on his Facebook page are a broad mix. None says he can dance but many voice admiration for trying.

Some say he is funny, some are laughing at him rather than with him.

One observed Seymour has "the co-ordination of a peanut" but they liked watching him "give it a nudge".

Several said they loathed his politics but liked him and good on him for giving it a go.

There was the double-edged "you're better at dancing than being an actual politician".

Seymour's main reason for going on the show was to boost his public recognition. He has certainly done that.

He has become the unrepentant champion of awkward dorks everywhere.

Seymour's critics believe it he is making a huge political mistake by carrying on with the show.

They argue he is now attracting the "joke vote" and will lose political credibility for it.

They argue he should be focusing on rebuilding Act's brand.

Those critics forget Seymour has little to lose and does not need much to gain.

They also forget not everybody takes voting as seriously as politicians. Some vote purely because they like someone or think they're good for a laugh.

Seymour needs to get about 1.4 per cent in the polls to get a further MP into Parliament with him.

That is about 15,000 more votes than he got in last year's election.

He will try to scrabble together those votes from wherever he can and young people who might not otherwise vote are a potential pool.

He does not need a "youth quake" but merely a wee wobble.

Being a dork on national television could be all it takes.

There is a flaw in his strategy (actually, there are quite a few). Many of his newfound fans are under the voting age and he needs them in only two years time.

Seymour may well now be more sympathetic to the Green Party's desire to lower the voting age. Then again, the Green Party may be more wary of that policy now Seymour has handed them a lesson in potential unintended consequences.