Monday, November 29, 2021

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Who should be next National Party leader?


Who should take over the leadership of the National Party?

In the mix right now: Christopher Luxon, Simon Bridges, Mark Mitchell, Chris Bishop, and Shane Reti.

Shane Reti is not an option. He helped Judith Collins commit the murder-suicide on Simon Bridges on Wednesday night so he’s too tainted. 

Chris Bishop is not an option yet. Too many people are still too angry with him for helping in the Muller coup. He’s doing great work so he’ll recover, but it’s too early.

Mark Mitchell is probably not a real option. This will be the third time he talks about running and probably the third time he doesn’t actually end up running. I suspect this is more of a strategy to get a promotion within the party than an actual leadership bid. 

That leaves the two real contenders: Luxon and Bridges.

Bridges is a really good politician but I think he is too old-National now. He’s ended up getting splashed with too much of the dirt of the last few years: Jami-Lee Ross, the angry Covid stuff when he was leader, the Muller coup and now this attack from Collins. He doesn’t necessarily deserve it, but he’s just become the guy caught up in too much of it.

Which leaves Luxon. He is shiny and new. He represents a complete generational change in National. He’s got none of the mud sticking to him. 

He’s risky though. Because he’s very inexperienced. He’s only been there a year. There is the risk that he bombs under pressure like Muller did. 

But he’s also very smart. He’s studied politics for years, he’s been mentored by Sir John Key and he was working towards this anyway (it just came a bit early). 

I think Luxon’s their guy. He's not a perfect option – none of them are – but he’s the best option. 

Deputy’s important too, and that should go to Bridges. Forget worrying about choosing a woman or a liberal to balance his conservativism or a rural MP to balance that he’s from Auckland. The biggest problem the Nats have right now is that they’re fighting with each other. Putting Bridges in there is showing unity. 

What’s more, as I said earlier, Bridges is a very good politician. His experience will go a long way to keeping Luxon away from the easy mistakes of inexperience.

So all things considered, probably a Luxon-Bridges ticket is their best bet. Can they give Labour a run for their money? Well, it feels more likely under Team Luxon than under Team Collins.

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.


Terry Morrissey said...

Whoever it is it needs to be someone that can get a bit of action out of the party. Lately Bridges hasn't been to the fore, Reti has been doing some good questioning, Bishop has been busy asking searching questions on covid, Mitchell and Luxon haven't starred at all, Nicola Willis takes no prisoners and the same for Erica Stanford.
It has to be someone with some life in them to push the party to bring out the failings and treachery of Labour(plenty of fuel there)in a way that cannot be ignored by the media, and can put sycophantic journalists in their place.
Tell us what they are going to do to right the wrongs of the labour cult.
Get off covid vaccination, that horse has bolted,and push for treatment with existing drugs.Push for the removal of vaccination mandates.
An elected member would be good rather than a list MP but that narrows the field too much.I wish the successful candidate luck because he/she will need it along with loyalty.
And get rid of that party president and his knife.

Janine said...

They do not have anybody capable of stopping New Zealands slide into Socialism and separatism. There are too many factions within the party. Think of all the in fighting over the years. Also, many of them are pretty " woke". Who on earth does their candidate selection?

They need a Trump like" character who brushes criticism aside and demolishes the MSM , radicals and stirring academics.

Nowhere is it "set in stone" that we have to have a National Party.

A better idea would be a coalition of a farmers party, a " proper" centre right party and of course ACT.

They need to be careful and do deals in the electorates to ensure victory.