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What next for the Act Party?

What next for the Act Party?
The future of Act is uncertain – a new leader, brand and possibly even a name change are on the cards after this weekend's election result.

The future of Act is uncertain – a new leader, brand and possibly even a name change are on the cards after this weekend's election result.

John Banks fought off National's Paul Goldsmith in Epsom

Don Brash has officially resigned as the head of the party, and with former party president Catherine Isaac ruling out a return, John Banks, who now holds the Epsom seat as Act's only representative in Parliament, is the frontrunner.

Act president Chris Simmons said it was time to reevaluate the situation, but it would be a mistake to make any decisions in haste.

Isaac told the Herald the future now depended on Banks, who has his eye on a ministerial post – the prospects of which are good, according to Brash. 

Banks' history was with National, not Act, she said.

"Will John Banks embrace Act ideology and its policies and seek to advance them?"

Meanwhile, Banks says it's time to regroup and potentially rebrand the party with a new name but the same values. 

On TVNZ's Q&A, Brash rejected the suggestion that the election was an unmitigated disaster for the party.

"We won the seat of Epsom despite all the pollsters and all the pundits saying we could not retain that seat," he said.

"Clearly we have to rebuild from this point. Neither John Banks nor I are under the age of 50. 

"We clearly do need to get some younger people in. We’ve got some very good people on our list - David Seymour, Stephen Whittington, Chris Simmons - all much younger. That’s the new generation of Act Party leaders."

Brash bows out

However, Brash says he has no plans to come back.

"I was heartened the other day to see that the new prime minister of Egypt is 78, but I don’t plan to come back."

He stepped down following Banks' victory in the Epsom electorate.

But he said he was keen to do whatever he could to support the party in its next incarnation.