Shlip, shlip, shlip ... the knives are sharpening
"National MPs were very uneasy heading into the election campaign. They're now panic stricken. Today they'll find out that there is no magic elixir.
"Besides a record of sheer incompetence in government, National's campaign is foundering because it is overwhelmingly negative. While constantly carping on about Labour, they have no vision about how to make New Zealand a better place. Meanwhile the parasitic Act Party is busily worming its way into National's remaining support base.
"Mrs Shipley is in for an uncomfortable time at today's meeting. She will bear the brunt of her backbenchers mounting concern at their fast disappearing majorities. Murray McLean is sure to air some concerns. With Max Bradford poised to lose his Rotorua electorate, I'm sure he won't be congratulating National's campaign strategists.
"National's MPs are already searching for scapegoats, while the possible pretenders are girding themselves. The next two-and-a-half weeks don't look great for Mrs Shipley," Mr Hodgson said.