Has Calvert switched?

Stuff reports:

Don Brash believes he has the numbers to roll Rodney Hide and become the new ACT leader as soon as today after furiously MPs.

The fates of Brash and Hide rest with the party’s newest MP, Hilary Calvert, pledged her support for Hide at the weekend – but spent yesterday afternoon in a meeting at Brash’s Auckland apartment with Hide opponent Sir Roger Douglas.

Calvert did not return calls and refused to comment as she left. But after the meeting, Brash said he was “cautiously optimistic” of securing the ACT leadership, suggesting he believes he has her support.

He told National Radio that if she switched votes it would be “logical” for Hide to resign as early as today.

Brash also made it clear he saw no place for Hide in any party he led, suggesting it would be his advice to Hide “to go, quite frankly”

Most of the speculation has been on whether Boscawen would back Brash, not Calvert.The Herald reports:

On Sunday, she said that she backed Mr Hide and would vote for him over Dr Brash, and on Tuesday she repeated that position.

But yesterday, when the Herald asked if her position was still the same after her meeting with Dr Brash, she said: “I’m not prepared to make any comment.”

There’s been a fair amount of disinformation flying around, so we’ll see how things play out today.

However if the media are correct, then Don has won and will become Leader. I still stand by my comments about the nature of the coup. It is about winning the war, not the battle. And my concern is that Don has damaged his brand which was almost being above politics.

If Don does become leader, all eyes will be on teh next set of public polls. I have no doubt ACT will go up in the polls. The two key questions are how much, and from whom will they pull their extra support. I’d also caution not to take the first set of as gospel – there is a honeymoon effect. The second set of polls are likely to be more indicative.

Anyway let’s wait to see if the media have it right, and if Don has won. If he has, I’ll blog some ideas for key policies he can campaign on – apart from closing the gap with Australia.

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