Jim Anderton MP is already on the campaign trial for the Christchurch mayoralty.
In my letter box today was some of Jim's election material. I quote from the leaflet:
The current Council has been wasting money on the wrong developments. Closing social services. Refusing to listen. With leadership, we can put that right. This year, I'm putting my name forward to lead Christchurch because our city needs to be a people's city again.
Anderton is tapping into the widespread discontent among the local community about the behaviour of Sideshow Bob and his council mates. And you have to say that Bob has provided him with a lot of ammunition.
It's hard to see Sideshow Bob staying in office given that he's alienated so many people. Turning up at the netball matches of the Canterbury Tactix and getting your picture in the newspaper ain't going to save you, Bob.
Of course Liz Gordon, the former Alliance MP, has also thrown her hat into the mayoral ring. She will also give Bob a good run for his money.
What will also be interesting is how Bob's council supporters react to the likely demise of their hero. These were the councillors who, among other things, backed the $17 million bailout of Dave Henderson and supported Bob's attempt to put up council rents a massive 24 percent.
A lot of the public dissatisfaction is naturally enough, focused on Sideshow Bob. But its important to remember that he has been able to get away with some rotten policies only with the backing of councillors like Barry Corbett, Sue Wells and Ngaire Button.
if you want to gauge how the political wind is blowing, keep an eye on Sue Wells. Her loyalty to Sideshow Bob is only matched by her personal arrogance and if she attempts to distance herself from Bob then you will know for certain that he's on the way out.
Hopefully the likes of Wells will also be following Bob through the exit door.