John Keyâ€™s poll numbers are remarkable but what is evenÂ more remarkable is that no backbencher has opposed any ofÂ the wet policies propagated by the current leadership. NorÂ have they thrown a temper tantrum about being passed overÂ for promotion, or has there been an internal donnybrookÂ where a hamfisted disciplinarian gets told to fuck off by anÂ angry backbencher who doesnâ€™t like being bullied.
The real test of this will be when the current speaker goesÂ to London, as is well flagged, at the end of the year. WhenÂ Lockie heads off there will be a chance for someone to get aÂ promotion, especially if someone from within cabinet getsÂ the job.
The smart money is on Nick Smith returning to cabinetÂ because his sins werenâ€™t career ending, and no one else inÂ caucus understand all the green hippie shit like Nick does.Â They even like him, which is a huge achievement for Nick, aÂ confirmed member of the wet wing of the party but also anÂ engineer and scientist so not afraid of looking for theÂ truth through peer reviewed research.
If this happens many of the backbench will realise they areÂ never going to make the step up. They will have fewÂ incentives to maintaining their ovine devotion to the partyÂ and the leadership, because the leadership offers themÂ nothing except a request for more ovine behaviour. ThenÂ expect the current lot will start wondering whether bovineÂ devotion is worth doing, and may become the most dangerousÂ of animals, a clever sheep.