- Date published:
7:57 am, April 23rd, 2020 - 241 comments
Categories: brand key, Christopher Luxon, election 2020, john key, mark mitchell, paula bennett, politicans, Simon Bridges, uncategorized - Tags: covid-19, Covid19
I am getting to feel sorry for Bridges.
I have seen it before where for better or worse a caucus turns against a leader, gives up winning an election and starts to undermine him.
There will be a variety of opinions. Some will think it is the last thing you should do with the tantalising prospect of political success still alive no matter how faint. Others will think that you are planning for the inevitable and you should just get on with it to minimise the damage.
It helps if there is a binary approach within the party. Team A fails and then Team B takes over. But if you have multiple factions vying for power then it can get really ugly.
Which is the position National is currently in.
Clearly dissent in National’s ranks is growing following Bridges’ incredible tone deaf criticism of the Government over its handling of Covid-19. MPs talking to the media is clear evidence of this. From Tova O’Brien at Stuff:
Newshub pointed out to Bridges on Tuesday that he had been personally eviscerated in the comments on the Facebook post, and he brushed off the criticism, saying: “People are entitled to their views.”
The problem is, some of his caucus share the dim view. Here is a sample of what some told Newshub – all different MPs.
– “List MPs and marginal seats want to get the party vote up but they can’t do that with a toxic leader and toxic deputy”
– There is “deep concern about the way things are going”
– The “membership is not happy”
– There was a “tone issue” with the Facebook post
– “The timing could’ve been better”
Yesterday John Key blew a big hole in the aspirations of current MPs who think they could become the future leader by endorsing Chris Luxon as the next leader. From Thomas Coughlan at Stuff:
As National reels from the negative fallout of Simon Bridges‘ comments on lifting the lockdown, former Prime Minister John Key has showered praise on Bridges’ potential successor, Christopher Luxon.
Key even briefly described what Luxon would be like as prime minister.
“If Chris was the prime minister, I think what you would see is a very strong emphasis on the economy,” Key said, referencing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who he believed was focused on things other than the economy.
“To me the number one thing the Government of the day does is to provide hardworking New Zealanders, whatever ethnicity they come from, to get ahead and progress in their lives and do well,” Key said.
So what does National do? Limp through to the election with Bridges as leader and then lose badly and then put Luxon up, even though he is completely untried in Parliamentary politics? Or go for Bennett/Mitchell or is that Mitchell/Bennett or shudder Judith and pray for a miracle?
Whatever happens it is clear that Simon Bridges’ tenure is over. It is just a matter of when.