National's next leader?

This is not easy to pick because the job is John Key’s for as long as he wants. There are plenty of aspirants but also people who won’t make it because no one likes them, they aren’t popular with the general public and donors don’t like them because they are pinko scum in the wrong party.

If John Key were to be run over by a bus tomorrow, these people would probably put their names forward. They will all be hanging around for when Key does leave, and some are known to be counting the numbers already.

Tony Ryall – No one should underestimate the power of the brat pack, who work as a pack to pick off votes. Tony is the last man standing as Bill is proven to turn voters away and Nick is too unstable.

  • Experienced politician who has done a good job carving up the public sector
  • Good team working to promote him, using their senior positions in cabinet to provide patronage


  • Tony Who?
  • The public doesn’t know him, Key made jokes about it, because apparently after five weeks of tony getting media his name recognition was only 18%
  • Cutesy shirt and tie combos are actually pretty stupid in the eyes of the voting public
  • Bald guy, fall guy
  • Been around for too long and the brat pack are past their used by date
  • Always seen fundraising as a bit dirty and beneath him, so will be under pressure to prove he can do a lot better than Bill who left the party with 21% of the vote and a rumoured million dollar debt

Steven Joyce – Happily been responsible spending up National’s quantitative easing, meaning he gets to say yes to lots of people for things they want like roads. Favored by Key as his replacement.

  • Spent lots so positive vibes
  • Wont give Len his train set
  • Savvy political operator who has spent a fair bit of time studying winning and is behind National’s poll driven approach to everything.


  • Makes strange choices of senior staffers, including one who is so abrasive she thinks it is a good idea to yell at MPs who could well be voting for the leader one day. A number of MPs have told this blogger they will never become a “one” for Steven if he maintains his current staff.
  • Too closely associated with John Key, and when Key goes Joyce could be like Goff, unable to get traction because he is too closely associated with a failed administration
  • No real public profile, and not the most camera friendly guy
  • Neglected donors
  • Another bald guy fall guy.

Judith Collins – Crusher does have a public profile and makes sensible policy changes that work and win her support from the voting public.

  • Good tenure as Minister of Police and Corrections meaning popular with the public for making the streets safer and locking up crims
  • Not too closely linked to the Key administration as she is not part of the old boys network, so won’t fall into the trap Joyce will find himself in
  • Done the hard yards with the donors so will be able to say “I can fund a campaign just like Don did, but Bill didn’t.”
  • Staff don’t have anger management issues
  • Could take the Keating path, dropping out of Cabinet to build a power base from the back benches and offering National a genuinely different direction when Key goes


  • Not one of the old boys network so misses out on some of the advantages
  • Big brass ones may have worked for Thatcher but may not work in modern New Zealand
  • Might be too right wing to do a coalition deal with others if MMP is retained
  • Hasn’t shown a softer side that will resonate with women voters

This only looks at the current contenders. Tomorrow will consider who might come through the ranks in the future. As mentioned previously if MMP is retained National run the risk of having no coalitions partners and these politicians will have a difficult path to becoming Prime Minister.


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  • cactus Kate

    Softer side? For fucks sake.

    All Crusher has to do is kiss an abandoned kitten like that mealy mouth Bridges does and that will fix the apparent image problem.

    If you want a soft mumsy hug a woman as leader voters should bring back Helen Clark, because you know she showed her softer side daily.

    Terrible analysis. Harden up Whale.

  • michaels

    I have said this just recently over at Farrars place, Joyce will NOT PM.

    Would he be good at it? Yes.
    Is he allowed? NO

    This I know and I’d wager on it.

  • pdm

    A Collins (Leader) Joyce (Deputy) combination looks good.

  • middleagedwhiteguy

    I can actually see Crusher making a go of it, but she does not have the Broad Appeal that Key has.

    Still, it would be good for the asian vote.

  • James

    Rodney Hide…..knows Nationals principles better than any of them, has experience, will be at a loss for stuff to do come November and doesn’t want to leave anyway. ;-)

  • Korero Mai

    Pretty obvious it would be Simon Power but he is outta here for a while. Bet he comes back in 2017/2020 on a ticket with Tremain or Bridges

    • Only in Simon Power’s imagination. He was as popular as cat sick in caucus.

  • The Gantt Guy

    Crusher “Might be too right wing to do a coali­tion deal with oth­ers if MMP is retained”

    Forget a coalition deal with “others”. If she’s anywhere to the right of Helen Clark, she’s too far right for the squelchy wet liberal panty-waists in the National caucus!

    Notwithstanding if she’s anything close to Conservative (and I’ve seen no evidence of it so far) she’d be as popular as a ham steak in a mosque within National, I don’t think she’s Prime Minister material. She seems bloody good head-kicker so probably a good Deputy, but not as Leader.

  • Greg

    What about Gerry?

  • JMac

    Crusher for PM. Only a matter of time.

  • thehawkreturns

    Wrong on Crusher. Even wooly-liberal love her on law and order.