What will be the effect of Don Brash's dope blunder?

Ian Llewellyn makes a good point: It is strange no one has noted yet how easy it is easy to change leaders within ACT.

Or to swap Epsom candidates for that matter.

Don Brash's drug announcement on the weekend was plainly a blunder. The day was set up for a major law and order policy speech. It wasn't meant to be angled on this part of the policy. Now the party is furiously distancing itself from the leader's comments, and John Banks is granting himself a veto over party policy and over his leader by declaring decriminalisation will never be party policy.

In turn, this sets up Don Brash and Act to occupy the worst of both worlds:

  • Those worried about decriminalization now know that he supports it.
  • While those who support it know the party will never use their vote for promote it, so there is no point switching to Act for the ganga.

All of which raises a question: What is the point of Don Brash's leadership of Act?

He was supposed to restore the party's polling fortunes. He hasn't.

He was supposed to reinforce the party's prospects in Epsom. He has just put a bomb under them.

If John Banks is going to have a veto over policy and over the leader, why not make him the leader?

I have heard that the Board is still loyal to Rodney Hide, who at the weekend ruled out any prospect of returning to politics.

But you just wonder if there wouldn't be ironic symmetry if Don Brash was hustled out as quickly as he hustled himself in, by a Board loyal to John Banks?

Let's look at the market: The odds of Don Brash going before the election have been slightly climbing.

The odds for Act in Epsom have been falling (and that contract includes the prospects of Labour's David Parker winning it through a split vote - which the market thinks is remote.)

The chances of National winning the seat are forecast to be up.

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