The Herald is already writing Rodney Hide's political obituary. This morning's lead piece suggests that Act's newest MP is now batting for the Brash team - check this out:
Don Brash looks certain to become Act's new leader after the party's newest MP, Hilary Calvert, switched sides yesterday following a private meeting in Dr Brash's Auckland apartment.
A vote could be held at the next caucus meeting on Tuesday, but if Mr Hide accepts he has lost majority support to the former National Party leader, he could resign earlier to make a more dignified exit.
The Act board is to meet on Saturday morning in Auckland, and if Mr Hide has not resigned by then, that could be the logical place for him to accept defeat.
It is most likely he would stay in Parliament and not force a byelection, but it is not known if he would remain as an Act MP or become the independent member for Epsom.
So; it wasn't John Boscawen who became Hide's Judas, although he may now throw his lot behind Don Brash as well, given that the good doctor has the numbers. But it didn't take long for Ms Calvert to change her mind. Only yesterday, the Herald reported:
Act MP Hilary Calvert yesterday confirmed her support for Mr Hide over Dr Brash, giving Mr Hide the three votes he would need in caucus to see off a challenge.
The old maxim is that a week is a long time in politics. In this instance, there seems to have been a paradigm shift in Act caucus support for Don Brash in the space of 24 hours.
Perhaps the poll numbers that have been much talked about showing that Hide had no show of retaining Epsom are true. Hilary Calvert is the lowest-ranked MP in the Act caucus, and if Act's vote was to slip from the 2008 election result, she would likely as not be the first casualty. It would seem that she is being pragmatic about her political career, brief though it is.
We will be watching developments with much interest today. It seems certain though that Rodney Hide's tenure of the Act leadership is about to come to an end. Whether that will be the death knell of the Act Party or the catalyst for a revival remains to be seen.