English favourite but not confirmed

Last night Patrick Gower called English as the next Prime Minister, citing a ‘senior MP’ claiming 45 MPs backed English.

I’m very sceptical about this – anonymous sources with vested interests in leadership contests, trying to push a majority five days before the caucus vote takes place, shoukld be viewed with extreme caution.

Yesterday afternoon:

Ok, no mucking around, Paddy Gower will name the new Prime Minister tonight on live at 6.

And Gower went full bore on his big scoop of 45 for English. Matthew Hooton has just called this ‘a big lie’.

RNZ is more factual and feet on the ground in Bill English appears front-runner in National leadership contest:

So far 14 MPs, including Mr Key, have publicly declared they are putting their weight behind the finance minister for the top job.

That’s about half what English needs – but there is no guarantee they will all stick with that public position.

National Party MPs will meet at Parliament on Monday to vote for a new leader and deputy.

It’s a secret vote.

Barry Soper remembers some history involving English in Support for English could easily become daggers of defeat:

Ironically it came when they were doing the numbers after his disastrous election defeat of 2002 when the dapper doctor Don Brash was sharpening his knife the following year.

Holmesy asked me if English was a dead man walking and I said no, more like a twitching corpse. Within minutes the phone was ringing and the invective flowed. When the torrent eased, he was told the numbers for him holding on to the leadership were stacked against him, but for a man who is obviously good with numbers, he insisted they weren’t telling him the same thing.

Later that day Don Brash was installed as leader and Bill English rightly felt cheated, he’d been lied to by some of his colleagues, and gave serious thought to calling it a day and going back to the farm.

The point is, those running for a political job determined by their colleagues can never know for sure of the support they’ve got until the scrutineers do the count, and even more so if the winner’s in the position to determine their future, like a Prime Minister contemplating his Cabinet.

More than half of National’s caucus are looking for favours, they haven’t had the call up for Cabinet and they’ll be sounding out the candidate who can offer them the most.

So it’s not a done deal until the votes are counted next Monday.

English is the front runner for sure, but there’s time for back bench discontent to grow, especially away from Parliament over the weekend.

There could be a backlash over what looks like a jack up – English as Prime Minister, Paula Bennett as deputy and Steven Joyce as Finance Minister looks like a small cabal at the top of National manipulating the leadership.

While they would probably be a competent rearrangement of the same old minus Key it is hardly a fresh new look.

And Brexit/.Trump – there is growing discontent with the political establishment in other parts of the world. Is there any chance of rebellion in the National caucus?

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30 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  8th December 2016

    National MPs have a simple choice. Steady as she goes with Billy and Paula. Or risk a complete makeover and feel the chilled winds of finding a job paying a lot less outside of parliment. should the voters say- ‘nah, don’t like that.’ Bill could do much to cement his position by stating he will be a one term PM. He’ll get them across the line at the upcoming election then step down. That allows the factions to work out their strategies for 20220 with everyone having a fair hand.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  8th December 2016

      Won’t this involve mass cryogenics for them all Corks?

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  8th December 2016

      1 term?,he may change his mind….does he play golf?

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  8th December 2016

        I can’t see English going past one term. He must be tired like JK. I think he needs to prove to himself he can do it one last time…..then its over to Paula. That’ll make your hair stand up, Blazer.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  8th December 2016

          Remembering Bill Birch. People forget being a boring political operator is also an art form that must be worked at. It also has its advantages over Flash Harry’s.

          Reply
  2. Bob

     /  8th December 2016

    Gower is the epitome of how useless and pathetic the NZ media have become and how low they have sunk, I can’t remember the last time he presented anything without trying to inject himself into the narrative, his breathless excitement borders on the pornographic and his segments should come with a R18 warning. Its not that the NZ media is biased either.left or right, they are all just shite, I wouldn’t trust them to run a bath, never mind present the news!!

    Reply
  3. Blazer

     /  8th December 2016

    Hooten indicated the backbenchers have been stymied for far too long.This is a chance they will take to flex their muscles.Bridges is connected to this faction and could be a compromise deputy,but it becomes more intriguing by the day,with the passed their use by dates of Smith,McCully and a few others.Why Pagani appears as a counter to Hooten is perplexing .He gave her ‘insights’ a real savaging as well.

    Reply
  4. Ray

     /  8th December 2016

    Well so much for the Lefts wet dream of National tearing itself apart over leadership, it’s a done deal. A two horse race for deputy hardly points to a schism either.
    Compared with Labours seemingly endless election it is a doodle, geez with the number of times they have done it recently you would think it would be getting easier.
    Roll on robbo next big chance.

    Reply
  5. With the withdrawal of Collins official, and she giving he full support to English, it looks like there will be a gentle discussion on Monday to hear what Coleman has to say followed by his concession and full support for a unified National with Joyce as Finance Minister and Bennett as Deputy Leader. It seems that is pretty much it, with Simon Bridges as first reserve, and possibly Deputy Dog. However that does not have the right balance so Deputy should be female. Collins may be in the running for Deputy Dog as well, because she has a lot of support out in the boondocks from the National party supporters who make their own minds up and don’t believe the disinformation from the MSM and the Left.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  8th December 2016

      It would be brave PM who would travel overseas & leave Collins behind to ‘look after the shop’ & protect their position.

      Reply
      • Come on Gezza, she did the job pretty well when she was acting PM. Did your Pukes and Ducks stop laying? Yeh she does not suffer fools easily, but nor do you and I?

        Reply
  6. DPF relates that Bill has the support of 30 MP’s who have publicly declared for him. Much as Gower said a yesterday, only to be rubbished by the Oily One. Seems Cameron knows as much about National’s dealing behind closed doors as I do. And I’m nil from 2 so far.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  8th December 2016

      Keep trying, Arty. Its all in the wrist movement. Which is what Joe Parker will need on Saturday night. His opponent scares me, big time.

      Reply
    • MaureenW

       /  8th December 2016

      Cameron seems to have gone all pissy on the decision – says the blog will get stronger with a Labour/Green/NZ First government. He sounds as stupid as all the American “stars” who threaten to move to Canada if Trump won.

      Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  8th December 2016

    It’s official, Coleman has withdrawn too.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  8th December 2016

      Now it’s all down to who will be the deputy. Drinks & nibbles @ dad’s rest home tonite. Have to smarten myself up & get ready. I’ve said I’ll do a short stand up spot. At least I’ll be able to tell the same joke every 5 minutes & it’ll be new to most of them each time, so not much prep needed. I’ll check out your concession to c when I get back Al. All the best. Take it like a soldier.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  8th December 2016

        No need to grovel to BJ like that, G, even if he is a gentleman and has chatted up your pukes. I think C is still fluffing around with his chai tea or else he got lost at The Standard looking for an allegation that has any basis in fact.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  8th December 2016

          Time-consuming business taking screenshots & popping them into time capsules. His argument so far is not stacking up. Mainly because nobody’s seen one yet. Very disappointing. Especially as the Diversional Therapist’s punch had two whole bottles of white wine in it & the third large tumbler of it I shouldn’t have had is kicking in & consciousness is getting hard to maintain Al.

          Reply
          • Conspiratoor

             /  8th December 2016

            You have no patience G. As my old Zen monk said “Have patience. Wait until the mud settles and the water is clear. Remain unmoving until right action arises by itself

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  8th December 2016

            As my old favourite chinese restaurant owner said to me once: “patience is a foreign devil lady name – ptooey – watch & learn, grasshopper”:

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  8th December 2016

              (Thank you, Wise Master, I said. I shall remember this. You will not need to spit in my noodle soup again.)

    • Blazer

       /  8th December 2016

      the double dipper from Dipton prevails.Has taken up Keys M.O very quickly.Was surprised Key stepped down,but Key told him 2 months ago!

      Reply
  8. I note that Cam Slater has claimed that English was a bully and had the temerity to promise a Ministerial Portfolio to an unnamed MP in compensation for that MP’s support. CS also claimed that English would stab both Collins and Coleman in the back by relegating them to the back benches (implied but not specifically stated). CS claims previously to have a special insight into the way National Party Politics actually work. On Tuesday, we shall judge finally his credibility (though I know now what the result will be).

    Reply

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