It appears the drums are beating and National is preparing to dump Bill English and Paula Bennett and select new leaders.
From the Herald:
The numbers are being counted in the National Party, with Bill English expected by some of his colleagues to call it quits, says Newstalk ZB’s political editor Barry Soper.
Soper says it’s a question of when, and the numbers are now being done for those who want to succeed him.
“A push against Mr English is unlikely,” Soper says.
“It is expected he will be allowed to go gracefully and with dignity but those behind him are now lining up to replace him.
“His deputy, Paula Bennett, might see herself as his natural successor but her own future in her current role is by no means certain, with some in the party seeing her as his Achilles heel during the last election and are not discounting she could be replaced as soon as next week’s caucus.”
One source told Newstalk ZB that if a move was made against Bennett in next week’s caucus, it would be supported.
It is clear that English is not enjoying his current job and Jacinda destroyed him in Parliament yesterday.
Simon Bridges BBQ this week has just taken on a whole lot of new significance.
Update: Neale Jones nails it.
Moves to destabilise Bill English’s leadership were inevitable, but for his own MPs to plant a leak like this just hours before his State of the Nation speech is pretty brutal. https://t.co/BcG2X4lpGI
— Neale Jones (@nealejones) January 30, 2018