With Garrett likely to resign from parliament, Key is sending a strong signal that he wants Hide to remain as ACT leader:
I’ve found him to be a very effective minister so there’s no reason for me to sack him because there are problems internally within the ACT party.
In fact it’s starting to look like Key would keep Hide on as a minister even if he did lose the leadership.
I can think of a couple of reasons for this. One would be that Key needs Rodney to keep doing the dirty work on the super city so that National can continue to keep its hands clean of that whole fiasco.
The other reason is that Hide fronted National’s attack on Winston. Make no mistake that dirt digging and the strategy to roll it out didn’t come out of a tinpot party like ACT. It had the fingerprints of the hollowmen and their online echo chamber all over it. I’ve no doubt whatsoever that Hide knows where a lot of National party skeletons are buried.
Of course some on the right, such as that tired old fool Richard Long, are trying to push Boscawen up as the next leader.
The problem with that idea is he’s clearly stated he has said he won’t challenge Hide:
I have actually no intention of challenging for the leadership – I think he’s doing a great job.
And for all of his flaws he is a principled man who wouldn’t go back on his word.
There’s also the slight problem of his deeply ingrained weirdness.
So the more I look at it the more I think my prediction of a Roy-led/Douglas-run ACT party is likely to come true.
Key’s problem is that a newly ideological ACT won’t be easy for him to deal with and if he decides to keep Hide he’ll have to own him and his unpleasant poll-damaging antics.