Over at scoop, Selwyn Manning, has revealed that sources inside National are admitting John Key is considering not sticking it out through a full second term. Even if National win the election.
John Key is tiring of being prime minister, he feels restricted by the Diplomatic Protection Squad (DPS) security presence surrounding him and the pressures of office; that he has considered an exit strategy, an option being to resign from politics two thirds of the way through the 2011-2014 term irrespective of whether he remains prime minister after the general election.
I’m not sure I believe the DPS comment. If he really is sick of them why would he take them on holiday unnecessarily? But I do believe he’s considering a second term exit strategy. After all he’s a celebrity PM who thrives on being liked and it’s hard to maintain a legacy of popularity past a second term of government, just ask Helen, Jenny or Rob (well, Helen or Jenny – Rob might be a bit hard to get comment from).
If John does go it will be interesting to see who replaces him. It could be Joyce or it could be English (if he’s stupid enough to drink from the same poison chalice again). Whoever it is will be getting a hospital pass – it’s unlikely the Nats would be very popular in a second term as they’re likely to go for broke on a hard right agenda.
It’s possible Simon Power could come back too.
I’ll be interested to see if anyone asks Key if he’s thought about quitting and to see what his response is. Key’s the reason a lot of Kiwis vote National – if he’s planning to leave then they need to know that’s what they are voting for. Otherwise it’ll look like a political bait and switch scam.