The contenders’ last hurrah

Today is a big day for caucus members of the National party.

The media are in a frenzy because the caucus, with the exception of Amy Adams and her crew, have largely kept quiet?on who they are supporting.

In just a few hours we will know whether the media prognostications were right or wrong. Yesterday Lloyd Burr was claiming that Judith Collins has only two votes and will be first to drop off. We shall see, but I think he has been talking too much to caucus’s biggest leaker and got things horribly wrong.??

From my own sounding out of the candidates and MPs, if all the claims made were true, then National’s caucus has about 120 members. The claims can’t all be true. But, one thing we do know is that not a single candidate has the numbers, otherwise they’d have been very vocal and come roaring out claiming it.

Steve Joyce is playing a bit of dirty pool, as is Amy Adams, with whispering campaigns trying to force MPs to declare their support earlier. Despite the claims of Jami-Lee Ross that no rules were broken, the only MPs to show open support have been those who stood behind Amy Adams. No other MPs have come forward since, but we do know that Louise Upston has abandoned Amy Adams and is making phone calls on behalf of Steve Joyce.

The five contenders appeared yesterday on ‘Breakfast’ as a final fling: the video is above.

I struggle to know what Mark Mitchell stands for, Amy Adams just gabbles and Simon Bridges isn’t entirely sure what he stands for either. Steve Joyce, however, knows precisely what he stands for and that is the continued power of Steve Joyce. Only Judith Collins seems to know who the enemy is and how to combat them.

What is abundantly clear is that, despite the whispers of the caucus and poisonous old trolls who use terms like divisive and polarising, Judith Collins is popular with the public and with the members. Caucus, however, seem to think that National can win by being more Green, focussing on climate change and by being more liberal and copying Labour. I’m afraid they are wrong as that gives voters no reason to change, whatsoever. If caucus follow that prescription then they should steel themselves to several terms in opposition.