National should be bold with a new leader

The latest poll by Newshub/Reid Research has confirmed that party support has been volatile, with National getting a similar result in the first poll of this year to the first poll of last year, and not far away from a poll in October.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_next_New_Zealand_general_election

National are doing fairly well for a party in opposition after nine years in Government.

But the poll confirmed again that Simon Bridges is not doing well as leader.  Why?

Kate Hawkesby: Exactly what is it about Simon Bridges that voters don’t like?

Another poll, another bad day at the office for Simon Bridges.

So what is it voters don’t like about Simon Bridges? Is it the voice? Is it his perceived weakness? Is it his inability to bat away Jami-Lee Ross?

Is it just bad luck being the guy who had to follow John Key? Is it that people still don’t know him?

Probably all of those things – and more. You can add to that a lurch right on issues like cannabis law reform, euthanasia, abortion, and a conservative Bridges looks out of touch with modern New Zealand.

Or is it just that National’s base likes strong sassy and old-school – in the form of a Judith Collins?

Some like Collins, but I’m far from convinced she is a good choice to take over. While there is some strong support for Collins in National circles, there also seems to be strong opposition. Twice she has put herself forward for the leadership and she hasn’t come close.

I see another problem with switching from Bridges to Collins. They are both from National’s last Government. The country has moved on from that.

After Helen Cl;ark was defeated in 2008 and stepped down Labour went through a few years of giving MPs a go who had been there for yonks waiting for a go (Goff, Cunliffe), and trying newer MPs who didn’t look new (Shearer, Little). They all failed.

National should face the reality that it will be difficult for them to get back into power next year. By 2023 Bridges or Collins will be even more old school and potentially stale and out of touch.

If National really wants to look ahead I think they need to seriously look at choosing a leader for the future, and accept that next years election is likely to be a learning exercise.

I have no idea who would be suitable. I just think it is likely to be someone not on the leadership radar at the moment.

National may simply be too conservative to make a bold move, but they have done it before, backing the inexperienced John Key, and that proved successful.

Choosing a relatively inexperienced MP now who has obvious leadership potential, targeting 2023, seems like a pragmatic approach. And if Labour fail to deliver and crash next year, there is enough experience in national’s ranks to help a new Prime Minister – they should be in a better position to do this than Labour were with Ardern.

We need strong leadership of at least the major parties. Bridges doesn’t cut it.

I would like National to be bold and look to the future, but they don’;t seem to be ready for this yet. They may need another election loss to hammer home the need for real revitalisation and modernisation.

Leave a comment

22 Comments

  1. lurcher1948

     /  12th February 2019

    Simon Bridges didnt follow the run away Sir Key he followed the run away Sir English,just saying

    Reply
  2. Finbaar Rustle

     /  12th February 2019

    Does the National or Labour leader even matter?
    NZF won 0 electorate seats and just 7.2 % of the vote
    yet their leader decided who the Government would be.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  12th February 2019

      You really think they were going to chose national – after 9 years of being blocked out….and 9 years before that of working with labour. Greens could have chosen national too….oh thats right.
      Get over the last election where no party except ACT would have chosen national

      Reply
      • High Flying Duck

         /  12th February 2019

        Clearly you should have been in the ear of the Labour negotiating team then, as they threw the kitchen sink in to try and woo Winston to the dark side.
        I hear they did play hardball and Winston only got 110% of what he wanted.

        Reply
      • PDB

         /  12th February 2019

        First thing I thought HFD about Duker’s rant – any fool could see Winston would only choose Labour except…Labour! (and Blazer who said Winston would choose National).

        Reply
        • Griff.

           /  12th February 2019

          any fool could see Winston would only choose Labour except…Labour

          Oh dear.
          Do your self a favor and go read Kiwiblog and Whale from just before the election
          You can find thousands of comments pushing NZ first as the right wing anecdote to nationals centralism .
          Chuck Bird and Cam Slater being standouts for pushing NZ first.

          Reply
          • Duker

             /  12th February 2019

            PDB , have looked at NZF election policy..virtually no match with national anywhere

            meanwhile for labour
            Labour will:
            Introduce a $200m Regional Development Fund to unlock the economic potential of as many regions as possible.

            Voila – Coalition agreement

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  12th February 2019

              God I wish Griff would use a bloody dictionary sometimes. But at least he gives me lots of smiles.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  12th February 2019

              $200m? Let’s round it up to an even Billion. Per year – and call it a deal!
              Oh, and some horse trading and get all restraint on commercial fisheries removed…and…and…

  3. Blazer

     /  12th February 2019

    ‘ any fool could see ‘…not being one I defer to your…experience.😂

    Reply
  4. Blazer

     /  12th February 2019

    The word is Mitchell….bring it…on.

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  12th February 2019

      I could see a Mitchell-Doocey or Mitchell-King working for them in their “creep to the Alt-Right” campaign …

      They could go hard-out on anti-cannabis and leave their own electorate MP Shane Reti hanging out to dry in Whangarei …

      There may in fact be no end to the entertainment value of a more overtly Alt-Right National Party …?

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  12th February 2019

        Damn … meant to say a Mitchell-Doocey or Mitchell-King ‘combo’ …

        Reply
    • Gezza

       /  12th February 2019

      Surely to God they wouldn’t be stupid enuf to replace Bridges with someone who opens his moosh & sounds just like him?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  12th February 2019

        Better off with Judith for now and have her sign up to a use-by date. But would she do it and have the old guard the capacity to work out her shelf life is limited and her role is to counter Ardern. As I read through PG’s post I came to the conclusion he’s on the money. Jacinda has the female vote sewn up, whoever National choose at the moment. That’s a big chunk of the electorate.

        Reply
  5. High Flying Duck

     /  12th February 2019

    Reply
  6. Trevors_elbow

     /  12th February 2019

    What utter tosh….now is not the time. 6 to 10 months to run b4 such a decision….

    Plenty of time for Taxcinda to show her true colors of lazy and vacuous….

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  12th February 2019

      Rodney Hide exposed the inside of Keys cabinet and that Key was lazy…..that was long before we found out even for the intelligence services , Key was the first PM ever to delegate his oversight role to his political staff…astounding , he wasn’t interested in receiving briefings.
      That’s Trump level sloth

      Reply
  7. PartisanZ

     /  12th February 2019

    Hawkesby – “Exactly what is it about Simon Bridges that voters don’t like?”

    Has poor Simon got hurty feelings about it … like Don Brash has about being called a racist?

    I don’t recall anyone ever asking that question about Andrew Little … an imminently more likable man than Bridges …

    Reply
  8. phantom snowflake

     /  12th February 2019

    Judith Collins tries her hand at Stand-Up Comedy:

    This morning Collins, who unsuccessfully ran for the party leadership when Bill English stepped down last year, said Opposition leader was the toughest job in politics and a role she was “not even interested” in.
    “The person I’m most pleased with beating is Winston Peters,” she told reporters.
    “Opposition leader is the toughest job in politics. It’s a very tough job … I’m a lovely, sweet person, not given to that sort of toughness at all. I’m just sometimes resolute.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12203033

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  12th February 2019

      Classic “bring the house down” stuff … “Just sometimes resolute” …

      Reply

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