There is a very revealing article in this month’s Metro magazine (not online) that takes a look at the strengths of the campaigns of the two declared candidates for the Auckland mayoralty.
Interestingly the piece states that National and ACT are ready to dump John Banks if he doesn’t start to gain traction. It seems (and constant rumours back this up) that failed 1990s National Prime Minister Jenny Shipley is being dredged up from the past to replace Lord Mayor Banks as the Right’s standard bearer next year. The more moderate Chamber of Commerce chief Michael Barnett is also said to be waiting for his chance.
This is incredibly destabilising for Banks and the Citrats. The last thing he’ll want is constant stories about whether another candidate from the right will join the race. It also opens the door for any number of others from Banks’ big-business base to jump in. Perhaps that’s why he’s been running crap full page ads in the Herald to try and scare others off and to turn around the growing sense that Banks will only be a mayor for downtown Auckland.
A piece of advice for the Mayor for Remuera, given Shipley’s history of knifing leaders when they’re abroad, I suggest staying in Auckland this summer.