Oh dear. Guess who doesn't think National is going to win next year's election? National.

In one day Amy Adams hangs up her hat, followed by Alistair Scott. Both Nats, both young, both not really in the game for all that long, and both running for the hills.

Simon Bridges must be pulling his hair out.


Last week it was Christopher Luxon - who isn't even in the political game yet, far less the party - and half the media had him replacing Bridges as leader.

This week Bridges is watching half his caucus basically say, "It's been fun. But if you think I'm hanging around for another three years of sitting on the wrong side of the house, you're kidding."

Adams is a particular disappointment, because it was, comparatively speaking, five minutes ago she wanted to be leader.

If you want to be leader you're going nowhere. You are dedicated to the party and the cause. And one can safely assume that, if she had won, she would be there now and fighting the election next year.

So the only conclusion you can draw is she sees defeat. And she doesn't like not being in government.

Not, of course, that I blame her. Opposition must be miserable. But the trouble with Adams and Scott both bailing is the message it sends.

Every time Bridges says, "We are in this", you've got retirements that say, "No, we are not".

What we know generally is that good organisations recruit well. People like to be on a winning side. Positivity breeds positivity. In other words, the queue to get in should be longer than the stampede heading out.


Most of those who have already left National - or already announced they intend to leave - did so immediately after the election. To leave it until now you either have health issues, you're 71 and over it, or (if you're Adams at 48 and Scott at 53) you've worked out the pastures are greener on the other side of the fence.

This all adds to National's ongoing problems. Their leader, their numbers, and now their retention of talent. They simply don't look like they're on a roll or anywhere close to it. They don't look like the home of the winners.