An attempted ACT coup

The Herald has a stunning story:

Act founder Sir Roger Douglas, with deputy leader and Consumer Affairs Minister Heather Roy, is understood to have led moves in the party against Mr Hide during the controversy over the international travel costs of his partner.

The Act board was told the caucus had issues over the leadership, and a special caucus meeting was called for November 22.

Some people in ACT must have a suicide wish. While Rodney did make an error of judgement with his trip (which he apologised for), ACT only survive in Parliament because he holds Epsom. If Rodney goes, then in all probability ACT will be booted out of Parliament at the next election.

Mr Key is understood to have learned about the moves against Mr Hide shortly before that – between his return from Apec in Singapore and his trip to Trinidad for the Commonwealth summit.

He told Mrs Roy that if Mr Hide were removed from the leadership, her own ministerial position would be in jeopardy.

It was naive to think a leadership change would have no impact. When National changed leaders in 1997, Winston approached Helen Clark and asked if she would be interested in forming a Government.

And it is believed that at the height of controversies in the two support parties – the Act leadership and the Maori Party’s turmoil over MP Hone Harawira – Mr Key briefly considered a snap election to gain National an outright majority.

Hell, that will send the 2010 election stock on iPredict upwards!

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