Lizzie Marvelly supports Judith Collins

Judith Collins is ahead in the Preferred PM stakes.

You read that correctly! Dizzy Lizzie says that she was all for Collins taking over the National Party. Be careful what you wish for Lizzie. Quote.

If I were Simon Bridges right now, I’d be quaking in my boots. He reminds me somewhat of a souped-up old Nissan Skyline, just a few burnouts away from a painful crushing.

With every disastrous poll result he seems to crumple and buckle even further, however much he may try to hide it with bravado. Judith Collins, by contrast, looks more and more like the Cheshire Cat.

In the great National Party leadership race of 2018, I have to admit that I was Team Crusher.

I doubt I could ever be accused of being a National voter, so given I’d never have to vote for her, I was all for Collins taking over the National Party.

We see eye to eye on very little, but I can’t help but respect her. She’s an unashamed feminist (there’s none of this Paula Bennett “most days I’m a feminist” malarkey), she pulls no punches, and she’s unapologetically shrewd. Indeed, there’s only one politician in Parliament who is wilier, tougher and more adept at making a comeback.

Though she and Winston Peters aren’t exactly what you’d call bosom buddies, they’re made of similar stuff. They’re similarly difficult to contain, fiendishly hard to control, and impossible to get rid of.

Next to those two battle-worn, nine lives-possessing veterans, it’s difficult to see Bridges as anything other than a feckless bantam who wandered into the foxes’ den.

I wonder if he realises that he’s the fall guy. His dead eyes suggest he might. When National inevitably loses the next election, he’s perfectly poised to be cast as the scapegoat. He’ll be the one to take the blame. His demise will offer them a fresh start; at which point, Crusher will be expertly positioned to take up the reins.

Whether or not she’ll be able to unify the party and appeal to the swing voters is another story. She has the opposite problem to Bridges. Though he leaves voters lukewarm, she inspires strong reactions. As her colleague Anne Tolley recently told Newshub, “you either love her or you hate her”. Add into the equation an increasingly popular Prime Minister, and the challenge of turning National’s nose-diving favourability around becomes even more difficult.

As John Key well knew, modern voters elect people who they like. While Collins’ outranking of her leader in the preferred Prime Minister stakes may portend the end of the road for Bridges, it will take a lot more to dull the lustre of Jacinda Ardern. Though Collins would undeniably make a strong opponent, her brand of toughness would be no match for Ardern’s forward thinking, warmth and relatability. End quote.

Forward thinking? Oh! You mean Ardern’s captain’s call flushing our forward energy security down the toilet? We will certainly need some warmth then! Quote.

Key was famously touted as the “bloke you’d want to have a beer with”, and I suspect Ardern is quickly becoming the woman you’d want to have a cuppa with. She’s attained the kind of cult of personality that few politicians manage, and as it was with “Teflon John”, it will no doubt serve as a shield when the going gets rough. End quote.

It is, indeed, a frightening prospect that a large percentage of the population would want to have a cuppa with the Comrade but, with a preference for intelligent conversation while dunking a gingernut, I could not imagine anything more excruciating. Quote.

It’s a tough act to go up against, especially when you’re a polarising figure. It’s hard to take on an opponent who, despite their detractors’ best efforts, most people seem to like.

But should National throw in the towel, crush the bantamweight boy racer and unleash Collins before the next election?[…]

For what it’s worth, I believe Collins will be far too clever to put herself forward before the election to take over the role of sacrificial lamb. She has no fear of opposition. You could even say she’s in her element making life difficult both for government ministers and her own party leadership.

She knows what it is like to fall from grace, and she’s smarter for it. She’s a survivor, and if she makes a bid for leadership, it’ll be a calculated one. […]

What good is a boy racer, you might ask, if he can’t ultimately win the race? End quote.