rjt123: No love lost between the two. BE could obviously see thru him from a long time ago.
(Re: the posts from earlier about career politicians - case in point, Winnie's been in parliament for most of his life and he's still no use.)
he's been very useful throughout his career. See the current government for proof of that, and that's the main reason why he's got the party votes from those of us that like his lifetime of experience and usefulness as a politician.
IMHO the national party are going to have a hell of a job to pick a new leader that doesn't come with 'baggage' and election losing consequences come 2020. All the current 'candidates' will have problems with winning enough party support in 2020, without another party or parties to assist them.
They've effectively killed off every party that has supported them in this MMP era, and still dont really understand how to use the MMP system to get back on to the government benches.
See all the claims they made about their so called 'moral right' to be the government in September and October for proof of that. The National party supporters I know and have contact with still believe and like to claim they should be the government because they were the 'largest' party by the vote count. They're a lot like the HRC/democrat supporters in the USA in that regard by believing they have been cheated.