National Party still backing Bill English as leader

The National Party's just spent two days agonising over what to do about Jacinda-mania and its new strategy is - Still Bill.

The party's two-day strategy workshop has just wound up in Tauranga and despite the speculation that Bill English could be rolled as leader, the party is backing him and deputy Paula Bennett through to the next election.

But are they just being put forward as sacrificial lambs?

The party is grappling with an unprecedented problem - the most MPs and most-liked party, but in Opposition. 

"We fell short, one way or another, even though we ran a good campaign and are by far the biggest party, but we're not pretending it didn't happened," Mr English says. 

Ms Bennett says the party is focused on the long game.

"What do we look like now, what do we look like in 12 months time, what do we look like in two-and-a-half years - so that's what we are focusing on."

Jonathan Coleman says: "We're focusing on the future and of course the big goal is to get back into Government." 

Talk of a leadership change could be premature, but the party is positive Mr English will not be a sacrificial lamb come the next election.



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