ACT’s David Seymour: ‘I don’t really care what people think and I’m still quite successful’ | New Zealand politics

He went viral in an awkward campaign video that featured him repeatedly saying “hi” – with an emotionless, thousand-yard stare – at famous spots in his constituency. He twerked merrily on Dancing with the Stars wearing neon Lycra. He once proclaimed – with unintentional double entendre – in a news interview about national flags, that “the French, for instance, love the coq.” That was the old David Seymour. The New Zealand lawmaker is the leader and sole member of parliament for ACT – a minor, libertarian party that has at times in its history been plagued by the inadvertent comedy of its eccentric members. The 37-year-old wears a sober suit and a quiet, serious demeanour when he meets the Guardian at his parliamentary office in Wellington. The new David Seymour dialled down the antics two years ago, quit alcohol – he lost 14kg (“I was 18% beer!” he says) and …