The latest poll will certainly please Don Brash but is it good news for National? Hard to argue it isn't, but it does make life difficult for any aspiring alternative leaders.
Brash's leadership remains a live issue, not least of all because he keeps making it one, and therefore every other utterance from senior Nat's will be assessed as for or against a leadership spill. In this light, Rich and Brownlee's comments regarding the Exclusive Brethren are a conscious attempt to distance themselves from Brash (and secure their position post a change). Key's equivocation and English's low profile also suggest continued planning.
But, Brash has just delivered the best poll position the Nat's could hope for - can the National caucus move against a leader who is up in the polls? It'd be a change - Bolger, Shipley, and English were all casualities of consistently bad polls.
I think they can and should move against Brash and do so now. Replacing him now enables them to blame the "dirt" rather than his numerous self inflicted wounds. Replacing him now gives any new team just 8 weeks of Parliamentary, during which they'll enjoy some media honeymoon, followed by the Christmas break. Replacing him now gives the new team long enough to develop their own brand and position before the election.
On the downside however, which leadership team has the talent to lead National for the next two years?
7 hours ago