The worst political comeback ever

TRACY WATKINS
Last updated 15:31 05/06/2014

Relevant offers

Politics

David Bain compensation case: Taxpayer costs mount John Key vouches for Tony Abbott, a mate in need Dream run so far as Little clocks up 100 There's no reason the Maori Party can't succeed TSB Bank writes off Solid Energy loan Conflict museum could cost city $18m Tony Abbott blunt in Iraq war message to NZ Former professional baseballer Mark Gilbert goes in to bat as US ambassador Secret death panel planned Australia's NZ-born first lady makes Auckland appearance

OPINION: John Banks' political comeback will go down in history as one of the worst.

At a loose end after losing the Auckland mayoralty in 2010, Banks' return to Parliament the following year always had the look of a "boys-own" adventure cooked up by himself and Don Brash to resuscitate the terminally ill ACT Party.

In the process they saw themselves as riding to the rescue of National, which was running short of electoral allies.
National will be ruing the fact that Banks didn't just slip quietly into retirement.

Today's court ruling that he knowingly filed a false electoral return doesn't just leave Banks' reputation in tatters. It raises serious questions about how police initially got it so wrong when they decided not to lay charges.

And it dents Prime Minister John Key, whose passiveness over the allegations brings to mind his predecessor Helen Clark, when she was confronted with allegations against her former minister Taito Philip Field.

Field later served time after being convicted of bribery and perverting the course of justice.

National's opponents were quick this afternoon to call for an early election but there's no burning reason for National to accede to those demands.

Banks will not be sentenced until after Parliament rises for the general election meaning the Government's numbers are unaffected.

But the questions about Key's handling of the affair will only get louder on the campaign trail - especially if he has to go cap in hand back to Epsom voters and ask them to keep ACT alive one more time.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content