The writing is on the wall for Simon Bridges

Photoshopped image credit: Boondecker

Sources tell us that Matthew Hooton’s article, Jacinda Ardern on track for triumph in 2020 has seriously unsettled Simon Bridges. His former mouthpiece has essentially, for two columns in a row, told readers that he no longer thinks Simon Bridges is worth having as a leader. If Hooton was ever on Bridges’ payroll he clearly is not anymore. quote.

The Prime Minister’s absolute rejection of ever reconsidering a new capital gains tax (CGT) sets her up for an overwhelming election triumph in 2020.
Not only has Jacinda Ardern’s decision eliminated National’s best issue, the way it was announced has almost certainly secured both NZ First’s return to Parliament and its preference for Labour for a second term.

Moving towards the election, National will argue that a vote for NZ First is a vote for Ardern, which will be true as far as it goes. But just as truthfully, as more centre voters recognise National’s position as hopeless, Winston Peters or Shane Jones will be able to pitch that a vote for NZ First is a vote to keep the Greens out of Cabinet and major social or economic change off the table.

[…] Those on the left who lament both the CGT decision and what it reveals about Ardern and her Government ultimately don’t count. For the next little while they can vent their anger on Twitter but Ardern knows they’ll be voting Labour or Green in 2020, and either tick serves her re-election.

[…] All three parties in the current administration win from the CGT decision.

A Newspaper

The writing is now on the wall for Bridges and it is now a matter of when not if Paula and Mark Mitchell make a move. Phone calls to key enablers, ex-MPs and the back bench will have started. They will be quietly moving their pieces and waiting for a misstep, which given Bridges’ propensity for missteps is likely to be sooner rather than later.

The attempt to neutralise Jami Lee-Ross is believed to have cost the National party over $200k in legal advice and reports. It left more questions than answers and led to the SFO investigation. These are precious funds expended on disciplining an MP that could well have been used to campaign positively for something instead.

The SFO investigation is causing extreme consternation within the party, at a senior level, about their exposure. The legal bills are mounting on advice for that and people are getting squeamish.

Make no mistake there is manoeuvring taking place, mostly to build a firewall against coming revelations. Bennett and Mitchell are working hard to distance themselves, but in the process are antagonising key caucus members of various year groups and factions.

The former factions that supported Bridges are in disarray, and it is now thought that he is left with just a few including Todd McClay who are actively trying to stave off the inevitable.
Matters aren?t helped with Bridges telling off MPs for questioning his leadership in caucus meetings and on conference calls.
Bunker mentality and paranoia have very much set in.

Photoshopped image credit: Boondecker