Well it is official. In the pursuit of continued power and political expediency it appears that National will sacrifice Murray McCully so that Colin Craig and the conservatives can be in Parliament. The particular form of sacrifice has not as yet been determined.
Mr Craig confirmed his decision at the party’s campaign launch at Rangitoto College within the electorate. He has for some months been weighing up his choice between Rodney, Upper Harbour or East Coast Bays.
His own polling showing he stands no chance of making it into Parliament without National gifting him the seat.
This afternoon he said: “polling received this week showed my support is stronger in East Coast Bays than in Rodney”.
“This result was an important part of my decision.”
Mr McCully last week gave his strongest hint yet that he will oblige, telling journalists; “If you’re asking me whether I’m going to consider stepping aside if I’m asked to – look, I’ve always said that leaders and boards of parties do make strategic decisions.”
No doubt if Craig gets into Parliament and if National forms the next Government he will expect to be a Minister. I wonder which position he will seek? Minister of Woman’s affairs? Science and Innovation?
And how will it occur? I doubt that Craig would win if McCully was still on the ballot sheet. It may be that National will eventually withdraw him from the ballot.
I expect that Craig will now tone down the rhetoric against his erstwhile opponent. If he does not then this campaign will become truly bizarre.
This event should persuade all good progressives that now is the time to get out there and support whichever party of the left it is that you support.