The Northland by-election has caused something of a permanent problem for John Key, not just a short-term headache.
If Winston doesn’t win there is nothing to stop him having a go in another by-election, and he has shown that just about any seat, no matter how big a national majority, is in play.
This means Key is in a very difficult position.
He cannot high handedly give Cabinet ministers the arse like he did to Kate Wilkinson or Phil Heatley, or sack them like he did with Maurice Williamson and Judith Collins, or demote them like he did with Chester Borrows and Craig Foss. Read more »