“Brash, who turned 65 after the election last September, said yesterday that after “overwhelming” positive feedback from the party, his colleagues and the public, he was determined to lead National into the next election.
He also hinted at a thawing in relations with the ACT Party, National’s estranged partner on the Centre-Right.
While he did not regret National’s decision to cut the party adrift during the election campaign, he said the Centre-Right was not helped by the perception that the two parties could not work together.
“I’m keen not to have that sniping. We have to find ways to work constructively with ACT,” he said.
“There’s not much doubt that we will have to work with ACT, and potentially United Future as well, in the future.”
Espiner did sound a note of warning for Brash, however.
“But one senior National MP said Brash had about six months to prove to the caucus that he was the person most likely to beat Labour leader Helen Clark in 2008, having failed to do so last year. “After that, it could get a bit sticky for him.”
In my view, ACT can help itself and Don Brash, best, by ignoring National and focusing on rebuilding our party. National’s “wets” will only respect ACT, if we show them we are growing and dynamic and are capable of taking several seats in the next election. They will think twice about dumping Don Brash, if ACT is clearly needed to govern.