Kate Hawkesby: Get your popcorn ready for Jami-Lee Ross vs Christopher Luxon

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Section
Opinion,
Publish Date
Friday, 11 October 2019, 9:40AM
The ex Air New Zealand chief announced his intention to run for National in Auckland.

Stand by for the mud slinging to ramp up again between Jami-Lee Ross and the National Party.

News that Christopher Luxon is to contest Botany will be warmly met by trad National party supporters who may see Luxon as a potential leadership hopeful and Botany has always been a safe blue seat.

But it wasn't met with much fanfare by Jami-Lee Ross.

In fact he called the move arrogant.

He accused National of trying to parachute someone in.

What we know about Jami-Lee Ross, is he's a scrapper, and I don't doubt for one minute that he's probably already out door knocking this morning looking to lock down his support in the electorate.

He claims to welcome what he called a "good old fashioned grass roots election campaign", and says he's happy to put his credentials up for locals to decide on.

He says he's been asking constituents whether they want him to continue as their voice and the overwhelming response has been, according to him, that they do.

So standby for a bitter battle for Botany.

Why?

Because this is important for National.

You've got disgruntled and loose lipped Jami-Lee Ross, never short of an allegation or a broadside against them, political poll poster boy and slick former CEO Luxon and throw into that mix Bridges..

A leader who needs to be proving his worth in the polls while the wolves circle.

Jami-Lee Ross has accused Luxon already of wanting to race to Wellington to advance his own personal aspirations. He will play that card long and loud, but it may well play right into National's hands. Or their supporters anyway.

If Luxon is seen as a leadership salvation for a flailing Bridges, then Botany voters may well see that as a good plan.

So Luxon has to prove himself in Botany and win them over without looking like he has indeed been parachuted in.

Jami-Lee Ross has to up the ante on the rhetoric around 'local boy taking your issues to Wellington for you if he's to keep any votes.

And don't forget Simon Bridges, he needs to be jumping up the rankings in the leadership stakes in those polls pretty damn quickly so he's seen as a credible leader for National and not a fall guy waiting to be replaced by Luxon.

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