In theory it sounds fine - a Christian-based party with an electorate seat in Botany that could provide a potential coalition partner for National after the next election.

If committed Christian and National list MP Alfred Ngaro won the seat, that would eliminate the 5 per cent threshold for his party and he could bring in several more MPs from the party vote entitlement.

Practice is another thing.

The main obstacle is the risk of backlash from an electorate that feels is being used as National's plaything or is being taken for granted.

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After the resignation of Pansy Wong as an MP, and Jami-Lee Ross from National, it is an electorate which could be forgiven for feeling used and abused.

Most minor parties in New Zealand have grown organically.

They have emerged after a split over a genuine policy differences such as Jim Anderton's New Labour from Labour which grew into the Alliance, or the Maori Party which broke away from Labour over the foreshore and seabed.

Alfred Ngaro, left, with then NZ Prime Minister Bill English and Tongan PM 'Akilisi Pohiva during a visit to Tonga in June 2017. Photo / New Zealand Herald
Alfred Ngaro, left, with then NZ Prime Minister Bill English and Tongan PM 'Akilisi Pohiva during a visit to Tonga in June 2017. Photo / New Zealand Herald

The Act party was formed to promote the agenda of Rogernomics which National and Labour were diluting post the Fourth Labour Government's reforming zeal.

In order to succeed and to be an authentic party, an Alfred Ngaro-led party would need to a better reason for existing than helping National.

That, however, is possible.

The issues that would galvanise the party are the three big social issues before Parliament at present and likely to be so in election year as well: making abortions easier to get, legalising euthanasia, and legalising recreational cannabis.

While the first two are conscience issues and the cannabis issue will be put to a referendum next election for some socially conservative voters they are defining issues.

It is possible that euthanasia will also go to a referendum next election, depending on if it is supported in the committee stages.

That would mean a heavy focus at the election on two issues around which social conservatives could rally.

They are issues that could take votes equally from socially conservative Labour and New Zealand First voters as much as National voters.

If Ngaro was seen as having a good chance of winning in Botany, the current rump of the Conservative Party which polled nearly 4 per cent could rally around him.

Ngaro is currently based in Te Atatu, the seat of Housing Minister Phil Twyford.

Former National MP Jami-Lee Ross might have to contend with a challenge from Alfred Ngaro at the next election. Photo / New Zealand Herald
Former National MP Jami-Lee Ross might have to contend with a challenge from Alfred Ngaro at the next election. Photo / New Zealand Herald

If it goes according to plan, Ngaro would remain in Parliament, declare himself the leader of X party with an intention to stand in Botany next time. National would either stand a candidate and campaign only for the party vote, or not stand a candidate at all.

Over the next 18 months Ngaro would build himself a profile and support base.

His Christianity would go down well in an electorate in which 48 per cent call themselves Christian, and 50 per cent who were born overseas.

And 12 per cent of the electorate is Pacific Island, disproportionately higher than the 7.4 per cent nationally in the last census, which may be attracted to a party led by a Cook Island Kiwi former pastor.

That's the theory any how. Forming a successful political party is a herculean task.

Alfred Ngaro has charm and energy but we are yet to see if he has enough political strength to pull this one off.