.....in for a pound.
Who will be chosen by the National Party caucus as leader and Prime Minister?
There are many (not 'multiple,' thank you) commentators much closer to the action and more knowledgeable than I on the subject of the various contenders but here, for what it's worth, are my suggestions.
First, however, what are the necessary attributes?
Above all else, the ability to lead the party to electoral victory in 2017. Everything else palls into insignificance. What does that ability entail? The capacity to continue the party's thrust as a centre right party with the emphasis on 'centre,' leaving the Greens and Labour to fight over the dregs on the far left. It also requires some ability to take the wind out of NZ First's sails by stealing a few of their choice policies, just in case Winston doesn't die before September.
So far, there has been some comment on the unsuitability of Bill English as leader, mainly on the grounds that he was pretty hopeless, last time round. The same criticism could have been leveled at John Howard and Winston Churchill. Does Blenglish have it in him to be an election winner? I'm not sure. The choice of his deputy might make some difference.
I don't think Steven Joyce or Paula Bennett are viable contenders. Joyce is still smarting from handing Northland to Peters and Bennett appears to enjoy as much caucus support as did Cunliffe.
So, here's my pick. English as leader to keep the centre left voters happy and maybe Judith Collins as deputy to take the whip to Winston.
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