I realise that National probably won’t appreciate my advice. However I actually would like to have a viable competent opposition. I don’t even want an election to be as much of a pushover as this one is likely to be. If I was a stalwart National supporter or a member of their caucus, I’d be pushing for Amy Adams.
She has stood for the leadership previously, and was heading into retirement before the elevation of the more centrist Todd Muller. So she has already faced the daunting prospect of that position. She was a very competent minister, who actually garnered respect from wide swaths of the political community. She is about the best prospect for a consensus candidate. She would be the best candidate to appeal for votes in the swinging voters as well.
This is unlike Judith Collins whose ministerial posts have been most noticeable for politically poor decisions that catered to a minority of bigoted vindictive National supporters – and distaste in the wider community. Her very name seems to cause intercine warfare inside the National caucus and amongst National party members. I’m sure that her biography won’t have helped matters much. For a political junkie, her biography is as interesting for what she doesn’t mention.
Apart from that, I can only think of Simon Bridges as a viable candidate. I suspect that would not be a particularly happy caucus that made that decision. However until covid-19 came along and revealed that he was tone-deaf to the public mood.
Of course expecting the misogynists inside National to realistically consider a female leader again is probably asking a bit much.