Rodney Hide resigned as Leader of ACT at midday. Don Brash will be elected Leader at the next Caucus meeting.
I’d like to pay tribute to Rodney at this point in time. It is primarily due to Rodney that ACT survived in 2005 and 2008. Over his 15 years in Parliament Rodney has had a greater and more benficial impact on Parliament than most MPs.
I’m glad he is so happily married to Louise, and has become a Dad again. That will remind him of what is truly important in life – far more so than politics.
It looks like Rodney will remain an ACT MP and Minister until the election.
The immediate issues for ACT are:
- Does John Boscawen remain Deputy Leader, or does that revert back to Heather Roy.
- Does John Banks stand in Epsom for ACT.
- List Ranking
While I have said previously that I’m not sure how good a fit John Banks is to ACT, there is considerable logic to having a candidate in the seat who will clearly win it for ACT. If they look guaranteed to win the seat, then they can campaign that voting for ACT is not a wasted vote, and that the more people who vote for them the more influence they will have on policy.
It is possible a Brash led ACT will also make it harder for Winston Peters to get traction (which is of course a good thing). Winston planned to campaign hard on the foreshore & seabed issue, but a Brash led ACT may be more effective in appealing to the coastal coaltion supporters.
Where NZ First, and Labour and Greens, will attack is on economic policy – especially wages, asset sales and superannuation. Goff is already suggesting that it was a cunning National plot to have Don roll Rodney (which is hysterically untrue).
The reality is that Don and Rodney are near identical minds on economic policy. What will determine their influence on Government is not so much who the leader is, but how many seats they win. At 10 seats you roughly expect twice the influence of 5 seats.
So as I said earlier, the next few polls will be interesting.
UPDATE: An excellent blog post from Cactus Kate on ACT.