Aaron Gilmore has stepped out from the shadowy world of accountancy to offer his opinion on the Christchurch East by-election, and in his view, it’s not good for National:

He said National’s campaign for the by-election was “not being run right and I don’t think the candidate is right . They could have won with the right person and the right campaign. The major parties should have selected a well-known, local, successful person to make the result more clear-cut. People are annoyed no good local person put their name up.”

It’s hard to know what to think of this – does one discredit Gilmore because of his failure as a politician, or give some credence to a man who got 10,225 votes in the electorate last election? Either way, it shows that there has been no love lost between Gilmore and the National Party, which is one of the risks when you cut someone loose from the party, Chris Carter-style. From what I’ve seen of Matthew Doocey, he looks completely out of his depth; his performance at the first candidate debate could either be put down to nervousness, or an inability to comprehend basic English sentence structure. While the by-election on Saturday will ultimately come down to voter turn-out on the day, this has raised a potential embarrassing situation for John Key and National: that Aaron Gilmore was right.