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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Don Brash Looks to the Future

According to Colin Espiner in today's NZ Herald, Don Brash is firm on leading National into the next election and is realistic about the need to work with other parties.

"Brash, who turned 65 after the election last September, said yesterday that after "overwhelming" positive feedback from the party, his colleagues and the public, he was determined to lead National into the next election.

He also hinted at a thawing in relations with the ACT Party, National's estranged partner on the Centre-Right.

While he did not regret National's decision to cut the party adrift during the election campaign, he said the Centre-Right was not helped by the perception that the two parties could not work together.

"I'm keen not to have that sniping. We have to find ways to work constructively with ACT," he said.

"There's not much doubt that we will have to work with ACT, and potentially United Future as well, in the future."

Espiner did sound a note of warning for Brash, however.

"But one senior National MP said Brash had about six months to prove to the caucus that he was the person most likely to beat Labour leader Helen Clark in 2008, having failed to do so last year. "After that, it could get a bit sticky for him."

In my view, ACT can help itself and Don Brash, best, by ignoring National and focusing on rebuilding our party. National's "wets" will only respect ACT, if we show them we are growing and dynamic and are capable of taking several seats in the next election. They will think twice about dumping Don Brash, if ACT is clearly needed to govern.


Blogger Rebel Heart said...

according to Colin Espiner Rodney Hide was being rolled as leader of ACT one month away from the election

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree Trevor.

Brash remaining as leader will be a determination for National based on caucus perceptions of his ability to win election 2008 (or sooner). They are interested in securing power and their own survival, not that of ACT who cannot really go with anyone other than National without fear of losing what support remains.

They are extremely unlikely to take in to consideration the strength or weakness of ACT, it is an irrelevant consideration.

ACT should also be in favour of the National leader most likely to win, as this will (assuming ACT win some seats) finally give ACT the opportunity to form part of a govt. It would be during this process (ie forming a coalition) that the relative strength of ACT and its policies would be most important.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

You know the inner workings of the National party better than I do Graham. However I would rather go into election 2008 with Don Brash leading national than say John Key, even if Brash has slightly less chance of winning. I think a future National/ACT government would be happier with Don at the helm. Regardless of that, i'm sure you'll agree that ACT's main priority right now is rebuilding infrastructure and increasing support, rather than worrying too much about national.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree Trevor that is what you need be focusing on, there is no advantage for ACT to become fixated on National.

I suspect those in National who would welcome ACT's demise would find it easier to argue for killing ACT off if ACT were continuing to poll in the margin of error.

Most National people I have met do not want to see ACT dead, although as National party members they are unlikely to give ACT their party vote. A few have however admitted privately to giving Rodney their candidate vote in Epsom.

ACT should be careful not to alienate the many party vote Nats in Epsom who have proved vital to ACT's survival. Lose Epsom and the party is over.

12:14 AM  
Blogger sagenz said...

Completely agree with you Trevor. Leading a strong unchanged team into the next election with John Key standing in the wings would be better than a newly reformed team around John Key who is definitely Prime Ministerial material.

The best thing Act and National can do for the next 3 years is to ignore each other as they focus on building their own support. ACT as the party standing for freedom and low taxes, national for pragmatic centrist leadership leading towards Individual freedom with responsibility. The worst thing they can do is fixate about each other. That would just reduce votes for the centre right.

4:49 AM  

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