A Political Plan With as Many Holes as a Colander

Bill Ralston has an excellent grasp of how you win selection inside the National party because he understands internal party politics. His analysis of the alleged political plot to parachute Luxon into the Botany electorate, make him National’s new leader and then crown him the prime minister is spot on.

Air NZ parachute in. Photoshopped image credit: Luke

Ralston who is one of the best political journalists points out the following hurdles that are in the way of a plan that has as many holes in it as a colander.

Political plot holes:

  • Luxon has yet to declare himself a candidate for nomination anywhere
  • National Party members of the electorate will have to select him as a candidate (if he doesn’t just go on the list)
  • The voters of that electorate will have to elect him
  • The National caucus will have to vote to remove Simon Bridges and put Luxon in his place
  • The country will have to vote National into power

It is possible Luxon may seamlessly make that series of leaps. It is also possible he may do a face plant at any point along the way. With the publication a week ago of a newspaper advertisement appearing to show Luxon following the same progression as former National leader Sir John Key, and a number of supposedly informed comment pieces in the media anticipating the airline boss rising to power, I suspect someone in the darkened back room of New Zealand politics is trying to engineer that desired outcome.

In all likelihood, the people who set Key on his trajectory to the party’s leadership in 2006 are seeking to repeat the feat. What they may be forgetting is that Key took six years to go from MP to PM. If Luxon were to follow a similar path, he would have to enter Parliament next year and then, finally, become prime minister in 2026. […]

The only way for a faster rise through the ranks is for the back-room stirrers to insert Luxon into a seat left by a departing MP whom they have encouraged to resign and leave now rather than at the next election, have him win the seat, enter Parliament in 2019 and promptly roll Simon Bridges and defeat Labour.

There are a few tripwires on this path to power as well, starting with finding a sitting MP to commit hara-kiri, let alone convincing party members, the electorate, the caucus and the country to support Luxon’s ascent. […]