Harman on crack, listening too closely to Bridges faction

Richard Harman floated a fanciful idea in his normally smarter Politik column:

Polling released over the weekend will strengthen the thinking in some National Party quarters that the party should aim to wipe New Zealand First out at the next election.

The One News Colmar Brunton poll shows NZ First on 5 percent (down 2.2 points on election night) while National was on 46 percent support, up 1.6 points on its election night result of 44.4 percent.

Labour was on 39 percent (up 2.1 points on election night), NZ First was and the Greens up slightly from 6.3 percent to 7 percent.

NZ First?s precarious position, hovering just above the five per cent threshold will embolden those within National who believe the party should ?sponsor? the creation of a new Conservative Party.

POLITIK understands the proposal has been talked about at various National Party electorate and regional meetings in recent weeks.

The party would aim to take on NZ First in rural and provincial areas as well as taking on Labour among the Pacific Island vote in the cities.

Already there are suggestions that a conservative National MP might step forward to lead such a party.

The Tamaki MP Simon O?Connor has been named by a number of National Party people spoken to by POLITIK as one possibility.

But there could be others. In some people?s ideal scenarios, that might be Judith Collins.

The party would be offered an electorate deal which would mean that it would not have to reach the five per cent threshold to get seats to get into Parliament.

I don’t know who he has been talking to but it sounds awfully like it is Simon Bridges and his numbers man trying to float a fanciful idea and start the rumours of a spill against Bill English, but trying to blame Judith Collins. They are also attempting to portray her as disloyal and flaky.

Judith Collins is far too smart to entertain trying to start a new party. That is a dead end that will end in tears, but it shows how desperate some are in National to not deal with Winston Peters and to cause upset on the way through.

It is also stupid to describe NZ First as in a precarious position, just 3 months after an election which has their leader as Deputy Prime Minister. It still shows the wonky thinking that pervades National and Richard Harman that it is even a tenable suggestion that this is the case. What is also ridiculous is wasting time on the Pasifika vote. They simply don’t vote National in sufficient numbers to warrant even bothering.

Simon O’Connor isn’t about to give up a rock solid safe National seat for a tilt with a new party.

This has all the hallmarks of a soft sell mis-direction by Simon Bridges and his numbers man.

What ever drugs Harman is on, I want some. Perhaps he needs a consultation with Australian commentator and political guru Darryl Kerrigan.