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National could be paving way for Christopher Luxon to take Paula Bennett’s seat

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Stuff report:

Sources within the National Party believe Christopher Luxon could be groomed for Paula Bennett’s Upper Harbour seat.

On Wednesday, Bennett announced she would not stand and would seek re-election though the party’s list after becoming the campaign chair for the 2020 General Election.

“Being campaign chair is a massive commitment and one I want to give 100 per cent of myself to; as such I won’t be seeking re-election as the MP for Upper Harbour but will be on the National Party’s List,” Bennett said.

“I have had tremendous support from the Upper Harbour Electorate and from the seat of Waitakere before that. I believe Upper Harbour deserves a candidate who is completely focused on them and being List only will allow me to run an energised, new look campaign that is focused on New Zealanders and their lives.”

In a recent One News Colmar Brunton poll, Luxon ranked at 1 per cent as the preferred prime minister. National leader Simon Bridges and National MP Judith Collins were on six per cent.

Bennett vacating the Upper Harbour seat opens the door for Luxon – and a number of National sources have told Stuff that this may eventuate.

When Bennett was approached, she would not comment on the speculation.

It has been widely rumoured that Luxon is planning to move to politics, potentially running for National in the Botany electorate.

However, it is understood that he is now not keen on this option because it could be a dirty campaign with Jami-Lee Ross.

There was also speculation that he was interested in the Selwyn electorate, which was newly created in 2007.

National MP Amy Adams has been the MP since 2008, where she enjoys the largest margin in the country but announced in June she will step down at the 2020 election.

The reason why Bennett’s seat is the most attractive option is that party rules would allow Luxon to be parachuted in by the National Party board rather then face a bruising selection process.

In an electorate with fewer than 200 members, the board screens nominations and puts forward members they believe are the best candidate and it is understood Upper Harbour fits this criteria.

If there are more than 200 members in an electorate, there would be a grassroots selection that would see members vote for the people they want to select as a candidate.

It is understood some members within the party would prefer Luxon, as an outsider, to go through this process in order to prove himself to the membership.

A National Party spokesman said the party did not comment on membership.

“We are always looking for good candidates and in the next while, people will come forward and the best possible people sought out and put forward for candidacy. That process will be concluded by the end fo the year.”

14 COMMENTS

  1. Paula should do a great job running the 2020 election campaign. She appears to have retained her ability to connect with the electorate so let’s hope that shows in the advertising campaign strategy she will be heading. She has plenty of ammunition to play with targeting the incompetence, inactivity and ineptitude of the COL.

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    • I hope they run better TV ads, the rowers ad and the runners ad, both had people/boats running into each other. They were both similar and crap ads. Good TV advertising is a must. labour was good at it last election, plus they had plenty of them while National were nowhere to be seen by comparison.

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  2. Luxon appears to be too much of a shiny arse. Rob Fyfe would be a great candidate for the role, more of a roll your sleeves up, get amongst it type of guy. Very down to earth. He also is good mates with JK, they went to high school together.

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  3. let him have a crack at the hyphenated hair plugs seat a good old low down dirty political scrap would let us see if he has what it takes to be worthy of even 1 vote let alone a nice safe seat

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    • If he’s the Messiah, let him prove it, the harder the race the stronger the winner.
      Don’t just give Luxton an easy ride – blood the prick – put him up against a real contender um…… like Andrew Little hee hee hee

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  4. Not sure if it is a good idea to place Luxon in this way.
    It may be a negative for the party.
    How does he show up in a poll when he is an unknown? Are the public ready for another Key?
    Is he really going to be the saviour of the Nats in 2020 or 2023?

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    • I don’t know enough about Luxton to say whether he would be a good future leader for the National or whether he is too ‘liberal’ for many of us who are/were National party supporters. I just know I’m sick of all this shifting society to the left. Kiwis are being manipulated with small increments, just enough each time for us not to complain, then a little more, and a little more… overall our political leaders have moved our kiwi lifestyle quite some distance to the left. Can’t we have some high quality and competent economic leadership for a change?

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    • Is it worth having a poll specific discussion? E.g. a topic for the poll where we can chat about it (with a link beneath the poll) or does it slot into Have your Say?

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  5. I don’t like the look of him.
    What so great about him?
    John Key had a great personality and good command of detail
    Anyone could run ANZ – its a monopoly.

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