I want to get down my early prediction for the 2017 election which, contra Rob Salmond, is that it won’t be close and that National will win very easily but probably won’t be able to form a government without New Zealand First. Key pointed out over the weekend that pundits always predict Peters will be the kingmaker and they’ve been wrong three elections in a row, but I think that short of a shock retirement or some other outlier that he will be this time around.
Update: Also, I’m gonna predict – although this one is more of a guess – that Judith Collins won’t be back in Cabinet. It strikes me that there haven’t been any scandals or disgraces in the National Party for a while. Sabin’s resignation is the last one I can think of. People are behaving themselves, or at least not getting caught.
The exception is Judith Collins who raised eyebrows promoting a car dealership in her electorate who gave her a new car to drive, an activity that turned out to be illegal for Ministers but not MPs.
Do Key/Eagleson really want Collins back in Cabinet skating extremely close to the law, conducting covert attacks on Cabinet rivals through the media, and repeatedly forcing the PM to grit his teeth and say that he stands by her? I doubt it. Maybe they’ll reckon its safer to have her in than out, but realistically it probably isn’t.