Dean’s rating rises

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The annual rating of politicians has seen Waitaki National MP Jacqui Dean improve since last year.

The poll is conducted by Christchurch-based Main Report which runs the ruler over the performances of MPs with the assistance of expert political commentators and insiders in Wellington.

Ms Dean was given a rating of four out of 10 in 2012, and this year, the figure has risen to five.

Main Report commented that she was “one of National’s better backbenchers”.

“Once again a candidate for promotion, but once again finds herself left out.”

In the Waitaki electorate, proposed electoral boundary changes are being considered, which would extend the Dunedin North electorate into parts of what is now Waitaki, encompassing Palmerston, Moeraki and Hampden.

Dunedin North MP David Clark, who is the Labour Party’s spokesman for small business and associate spokesman for finance and health, has been given a rating of five in the poll this year, the same as last year.

“Sadly sliding into partisan hyperbole after a good start,” said Main Report.

“Sometimes it works, doing it all the time is boring.”

The poll named Finance Minister Bill English as politician of the year.

The judges said of him: “A quiet achiever who will deliver the Government’s promised surplus next year. Prodigious work on policy development and money management; never gets in John Key’s way and has no leadership ambitions.”

Prime Minister John Key’s rating rose from 8 to 8.5.

Labour leader David Cunliffe rose from 4.5 to 7.5 and Main Report commented that he gained the party leadership without many in caucus wanting him.

“The great fear is he could still be an accident waiting to happen.”

The lowest-ranked MP position was shared by former NZ First MP Brendan Horan (now an independent MP), Labour MP Rajen Prasad and ACT leader John Banks.

Each had one point.

By CHRIS TOBIN