A column to fill? Make stuff up.

Jo Moir conjures up conjecture with “National’s ten first-term MPs could decide the next leader.”


Ten virtual unknowns in the National Party could decide the next leader.

Lawrence Yule is hardly a virtual unknown after the Hawkes Bay water issue.

The first-term MPs, who have only been at Parliament for about two months since they were elected, now hold a crucial vote.

As do the all the longer term MPs.

There are 56 MPs in the party but with it looking increasingly like there will be four contenders for the leadership, those votes will split fast.


It’s understood a progressional voting system will be used to decide the next leader, which means everyone casts a vote and if nobody gets 29 votes then the person with the lowest number drops off and they all vote again.

Do some research and say whether a progressional voting system will be used or not, why take a guess?

The process continues until one candidate wins at least 29 votes.

For some of those new MPs the most they may have had to do with the leadership contenders is a bit of small talk in Parliament’s corridors.

Or possibly a two-day retreat in Tauranga recently? Or years of National Party conferences?

The candidates announced so far cover a lot of bases, which means some of the new caucus members may simply rely on voting for someone from their patch.

Oh, for crying out loud! Perish the thought that a National Party MP might think, or do research on who the vote for.  Pick a card, any card!

First out of the box to announce was Judith Collins – an Auckland businesswoman who ticks that all-crucial Auckland box and the female one too.

Good grief!  An Auckland businesswoman who is also female and comes from Auckland!  Wow!

Simon Bridges heralds from Tauranga, where he was a lawyer, and covers off the provincial ticket – he’s also selling himself on generational change.

Simon probably ticks that all-crucial lawyer box and the male one too.  I’m not sure, as Jo does not really spell it out.

Then there’s Amy Adams – the southern farmer who comes from the Bill English mould in terms of background and her political way of thinking.

Mark Mitchell hasn’t announced but expect him to do so when he returns from seeing his daughter compete in Australia at the weekend.

So those are the options: Businesswoman, Auckland, Lawyer, Provincial, Generational, Farmer, Bill English 2.0, Female, Southern, Competitive daughter.

Erica Stanford won the East Coast Bays seat in the 2017 election. She could be keen to see a woman take on the leadership.


Erica Stanford won the East Coast Bays seat in the 2017 election. She could be keen to see a woman take on the leadership.

I guess Jo never rang her and asked, so it is simply opinion.

Mitchell is an ex-police officer with solid foreign affairs experience, who also ticks the Auckland box.

And the male box?  (sorry, couldn’t resist)

He has the least to lose out of the candidates as he’s not married to politics in the same way the other candidates are.

Steven Joyce and Jonathan Coleman are both considering running but it’s looking increasingly unlikely that they will.

Helensville MP Chris Penk is Auckland-based and will no doubt be on Judith Collins' radar to get a vote from.


Helensville MP Chris Penk is Auckland-based and will no doubt be on Judith Collins’ radar to get a vote from.

Chris might be on Simon’s radar since they are both male.  Chris has a dog, farmers have dogs – he may be on Amy’s radar. Who knows?

While those in the Bridges and Adams camp say it’s looking like a two-horse race, the potential for vote-splitting with four candidates and at least ten MPs who have no firm frontrunner in their mind, means the race is still wide open.

It’s understood Collins has got the jump on wooing the class of 2017 MPs but don’t expect them to vote in any sort of a block.

They all hail from various parts of the country and while the three Auckland-based ones may have had more interaction with someone like Collins, it’s not a guaranteed vote.

Rangitata MP Andrew Falloon is from the south and knows Amy Adams well but there's no guarantee that's how he'll vote.


Rangitata MP Andrew Falloon is from the south and knows Amy Adams well but there’s no guarantee that’s how he’ll vote.

The National Party is a broadchurch [sic] and it’s understood the newest MPs met on Tuesday night, following English’s decision to leave, to discuss the day’s events – but nobody had a firm favourite in mind.

Broadchurch was a TV series, nothing at all resembling the National Party.  Try “broad church”.

The race is on, but those with the least time spent with their feet under the desk may have more sway than even they realise.

The MPs from the class of 2017 are: Simeon Brown, Andrew Falloon, Harete Hipango, Matt King, Denise Lee, Chris Penk, Erica Stanford, Tim Van de Molen, Hamish Walker and Lawrence Yule.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the undecideds could go one way or another.”  George W Bush.

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In solidarity with the those in the world’s most despised demographic, WH has decided to ‘come out’ as an old white male. WH enjoys exercising the white-male privilege that Whaleoil provides for him by writing the occasional post challenging climate change consensus; looking at random tech issues that tweak his interest, as a bit of a tech nerd; or generally poking the borax at anyone in public life who goes on record revealing their stupidity. WH never excelled on the sports field because his coaches never allowed him to play in his preferred position on the right-wing. WH also enjoys his MG.

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.