John Key‚Äôs poll numbers are remarkable but what is even¬†more remarkable is that no backbencher has opposed any of¬†the wet policies propagated by the current leadership. Nor¬†have they thrown a temper tantrum about being passed over¬†for promotion, or has there been an internal donnybrook¬†where a hamfisted disciplinarian gets told to fuck off by an¬†angry backbencher who doesn‚Äôt like being bullied.
The real test of this will be when the current speaker goes¬†to London, as is well flagged, at the end of the year. When¬†Lockie heads off there will be a chance for someone to get a¬†promotion, especially if someone from within cabinet gets¬†the job.
The smart money is on Nick Smith returning to cabinet¬†because his sins weren‚Äôt career ending, and no one else in¬†caucus understand all the green hippie shit like Nick does.¬†They even like him, which is a huge achievement for Nick, a¬†confirmed member of the wet wing of the party but also an¬†engineer and scientist so not afraid of looking for the¬†truth through peer reviewed research.
If this happens many of the backbench will realise they are¬†never going to make the step up. They will have few¬†incentives to maintaining their ovine devotion to the party¬†and the leadership, because the leadership offers them¬†nothing except a request for more ovine behaviour. Then¬†expect the current lot will start wondering whether bovine¬†devotion is worth doing, and may become the most dangerous¬†of animals, a clever sheep.