In an earlier blog post, I mentioned how important it was for National to show unity at the start of the political year.
That hasn’t really happened, unfortunately for the Nats. While, for the moment at least, Bill English’s job appears to remain safe – at least for a year or so – rumours continue to circulate about Paula Bennet and Steven Joyce.
Why Bennet and Joyce? Both of them contributed in National’s fall from favour with NZ First – Bennet was one of the minsters who knew about Winston Peters’s superannuation over payment, and Joyce was the man who launched National’s campaign to kill off NZ First.
For the moment, at least, National has decided to put on a show of unity and firmly back English, Bennet and Joyce.
But with Bennet and Joyce’s screw ups during the election campaign, plus the sheer amount of speculation about the pair of them being rolled, it doesn’t seem likely that the two of them will last the term in their current positions.
So, the bets are on the table for how long they will last. My guess is that in May – that’s when the politics is mainly out of the eye of the public – the pair will be rolled by Simon Bridges and Judith Collins – a move that will help their jockeying for Bill English’s position when he goes.
In fact, if the pair are rolled, I’m willing to bet that at least one of them will leave before the 2020 election. Most likely Joyce, as he is a list MP and can leave with little fuss, but a by-election is Bennet’s seat of Upper Harbour is also possible.
However, always keep in mind that what I am saying here is, in the end, nothing more than speculation based off of news articles.
Will Bennett and Joyce be rolled?
We will just have to wait and see.