The Push For Ministerial Places
Wellington – As National Leader John Key stitches together his Government a lot of his MPs will also be nervously waiting for a phone call to talk about their political futures.
If Key decides no radical Cabinet surgery is required then there will be three or four spots around the Cabinet table, but this not enough to meet the seething ambitions inside caucus.
First there are those Ministers outside Cabinet who want to be inside and then there are the ambitious backbenchers knocking on the door.
Key has already indicated that in many of the major portfolios – such as finance – he has not considered any changes.
Stocks have been launched on many of the issues being considered by Key and Amy Adams is favoured to be the backbencher who will get the call.
This is probably based on her being the chair of the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee, which is one the usual ministerial career pathways. However she had only been in the job a short time after Craig Foss was promoted and then Parliament was dissolved months later.
Another common career path to Cabinet is the position of Chief Whip, and currently Chris Tremain is around a 45 percent of becoming a Cabinet Minister. Though Key might want to keep an experienced incumbent in the job to manage his larger caucus.
Maurice Williamson must also be a contender even though he is currently only rated a 21 percent probability.
Williamson found himself a minister outside of Cabinet in 2008 after he got himself offside with Key for a few unguarded comments during the campaign.
During the last term he kept his head down and won many kudos for painstakingly working through the leaking building issue, however Key may just decide he wants younger blood.
Within Cabinet some changes have been forced on Key with some ministers standing down at the last election. In the case of justice, Judith Collins is heavily favoured to replace Simon Power.