It could be worth keeping an eye on the Conservatives

It might be nice to daydream about a world in which we never have to listen to Colin Craig opine about the promiscuity of Kiwi women or threatening The Civilian with legal action ever again. Unfortunately, as a nation which has suffered/triumphed in Winston Peters being on the political scene for nearly four decades, overcoming deathblow after deathblow, we may have to accept that he’ll be around for as long as he can keep funding a political machine.

Or not?

While everyone’s has been distracted by Winston’s big blue bus, the Lundy re-trial and our not-too-hot, not-too-cold deployment to Iraq, Andrea Vance has been keeping an eye on Colin. And it looks like things may not be going brilliantly for him:

Colin Craig insists his Conservative Party is not in turmoil, despite questions over his leadership and the expulsion of former MP Larry Baldock.

The party’s board met on Saturday and since then rumours have swirled about an attempt to roll Craig as leader and replace him with Napier candidate Garth McVicar, who quit the party after the general election last September.

Craig said he was not challenged and was unanimously reinstated as leader.

He was unaware a board member had asked McVicar to the meeting – an invitation that  was declined.

Craig said the speculation about his leadership was “intriguing”.

“I wonder who is trying to spread rumours,” he said.

Probably the person who’s thinking about rolling you, Colin. But who can say with an outfit as out there as the Conservatives? Maybe it’s all a grand plan to pique our interest by manufacturing some drama. Or maybe Garth McVicar, riding high on his successful campaign to split the rightwing vote in Napier and deliver the seat back to Labour, is using the Sensible Sentencing Trust as a decoy to hide his plans for parliamentary domination.

Three years is a long time in politics, and if the National Party keeps hitting roadblocks (Iraq, Sabin, Liu, etc) we may start to see more right-of-the-right voters looking for an alternative, and the Conservatives – who got 3.97% of the party vote compared to ACT’s 0.69% – may look like a viable alternative to them. The question is whether that’s with or without the man who got them that far.

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