Colin James touches on some of National’s new candidates in his column yesterday:
… the parliamentary party’s future looks brighter now than for a very long time. That is not because National is streets ahead in the polls and odds-on to lead the next government. It is because there is an impressive crop of late-20s to early-40s new candidates: Nikki Kaye, 28, in Auckland Central, part-Maori Simon Bridges, 31, in Tauranga, Amy Adams in Selwyn, Sam Lotu-Iiga of Maungakiekie and Louise Upston in Taupo, all 37, Todd McClay, 39, in Rotorua, and Michael Woodhouse in Dunedin North and Melissa Lee, both 42, on the list.
Most of these hold multi-degrees, some with first-class honours, and have useful life experience. In intellectual potential they look more like a Labour intake than a traditional National one. Add Harvard- and Oxford-alumna Hekia Parata, 49, and media mogul and campaign chair Steven Joyce, 45.
The class of 2008 looks to be indeed a good one. I just hope as many of them make it in as possible.
So when National ranks its list on Saturday it has rich pickings. A Prime Minister Key reshuffling cabinets would have quality replacements for old lags he could not avoid initially appointing.
Indeed. If National wins in 2008, I would not expect initial Ministers to serve a full nine years (if re-elected). Rejuvenation is key and I would not be surprised if by 2011 the majority of Cabinet is taken from the classes of 2005 and 2008.
The message to Labour when it does its list on August 30 is that to stay competitive it will not be able to afford passengers. That is a crunch test for Clark.
Labour have a real challenge. Will they protect incumbent MPs as they usually do, or put enough new blood higher up the list, so that they will come in even if they get a poor result.Tags: candidates, Colin James, Election 2008, Labour, National