Friday, August 27, 2004

A rat notices the rising water

Stephen Franks has indicated that he will consider moving to National next year if ACT continues to languish in the polls. This wouldn't involve a straight-out switch, which might invoke the Electoral Integrity Act; rather he would resign from Parliament before the election then stand as a candidate for National.

It's difficult to see this as anything other than a calculated attempt to undermine Rodney Hide, and his reaction will be interesting. But more interesting will be the reaction of National party members and MPs. They've already seen Don Brash cuckoo'ed into the party and then the leadership, and he seems to making it clear that MPs who do not share his extreme free-market views, such as Lynda Scott and Roger Sowry, are no longer welcome in National. If Franks jumps ship and gets a high list placing, things begin to look like a fully-fledged takeover...