Front runner, all round bloody good guy and National Party stalwart Grant McCullum has dropped out of selection making it a relatively open race. The five that remain are Sarah Davies, Matt King, Ken Rintoul, Mike Sabin and Mark Tan and they will have huge shoes to fill in replacing John Carter. John’s one of the most liked guys in caucus and a man who has friends all over the country due to his easy going nature and willingness to help out with campaigns. Cactus Kate has already dealt with the inappropriate-ness of Sarah Davies.
This blog has said what it thinks about Rodney, so wont be saying any more other than if you are a fundamentalist christian go and be a missionary, don’t try to impose your religious views on the National Party and the country.
It looks like we will see Maggie Barry emerging as the successful candidate there. Despite Maggie being beaten in Botany by Jami-Lee Ross, she has intimidated out some potentially good candidates so is left with opposition that is very weak. Former Councillor Paul Goldsmith is not likely to woo many delegates as he is too austere to be likable.
Maggies impending selection is probably good for New Zealand, as our politics has shown a disregard for older candidates, yet in other countries politicians do not reach the peak of their careers until much later in life. Maggie will appeal to a group of voters outside North Shore that probably would not vote National.
The meet the candidates events have finished and it appears to be a two horse race between long time Whaeloil friend and long time party servant Scott Simpson and Megan Campbell. This is a tight race and this blog wishes both candidates all the best for the final night. One note however is that silly games and rumour-mongering seem to have started in the lead up to the selection on the 19th. Those games should stop otherwise I might have to expose them. One thing I know for certain is that claiming endorsement from the hierarchy or leadership almost certainly leads one to destruction. Playing negative is not rewarded in National party selections because at the end of the process you all have to work together and a campaign for selection run with rumour, innuendo and spite is detrimental to that. National party delegates like to save that for the enemy.
Sadly the tragedy afflicting the Guy family has meant Nikki Guy has decided not to proceed with the nomination. This blog has only heard exceptionally good things about Nikki and fortunately she is young enough to be an MP for National at some stage in the future.
This leaves Manawatu Mayor Ian McKelvie as the front runner, and like Nikki only good things have come through the tip line. Ian would bring a sensible rural voice to a caucus that is becoming increasingly dislocated from the rural economy.
Paul Foster-Bell is the presumptive candidate after the first meet the candidates meeting, but is unlikely to be a threat to the incumbent Labour MP, Grant Robertson.
Few candidates are putting their name forward for a really tough red seat.
Another tough red seat where the likely and highly regarded candidate has left for Australia.