- This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on September 26 2017. This is a backup of Wikipedia:Leighton_Baker. All of its AfDs can be found at Wikipedia:Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Leighton_Baker, the first at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Leighton_Baker.
Baker has stood as a member of the Conservative Party in three elections. In the 2011 general election, he was 12th on the party list and stood in the Christchurch East electorate. The party received 2.65% of the party vote and Baker received 1.86% of the electorate vote, neither of which was enough for Baker or his party to secure a seat. Baker stood again for Christchurch East in the by-election in 2013, receiving 494 votes (3.6% of the total), coming fourth. In the 2014 general election, Baker again contested Christchurch East but was not ranked in the party list. This election was the best result both for the party and for Baker. The party received 3.97% of the party vote and Baker received 4.02% of his electorate's vote, but this was still not enough for the Conservative Party to enter parliament.
Prior to his involvement with the Conservative Party, Baker was involved with The Kiwi Party. In the 2008 election, he stood for the Kiwi Party in the Waimakariri electorate, coming sixth of seven candidates. The Kiwi Party only contested the 2008 general election, and like many of its members he moved to the Conservative Party for the 2011 election which had been founded that year.
Role as leader of Conservative Party
Baker was on the Board of the Conservative Party prior to March 2015, but resigned in that month, with then-leader and founder Colin Craig saying that Baker didn't want the commitment of board meetings. Craig resigned from the party in June 2015, and all but one of the party's Board members resigned that same month, with the last remaining Board member resigning in July 2015. By mid-November 2015, Baker had been elected by the party to be the party Board chair, though some media reports referred to him as the party spokesman. The party Board ran the party in place of a single leader from after Craig's resignation until 24 January 2017, when it announced Baker was the new party leader.
When the University of Auckland Debating Society organised a cross-party debate in March 2017, they withheld an invitation to the Conservatives when it decided to limit participation to parties which were, or had, been in Parliament. However Baker stated that despite thinking the move was unfair, he would not follow Colin Craig's footsteps by taking the matter to court.
Baker, a committed Christian, is known for his support of family values of family and skepticism about the "social experiment" policies of a series of left-of-center governing coalitions, views that attract support form fewer than 5% of New Zealand voters. According to Bob McCoskrie of Family First New Zealand, Baker and his Party are "opposed to redefining marriage. They're opposed to decriminalisation of abortion, marijuana and euthanasia. They're opposed to the anti-smacking law, gender theory and prostitution. What I can surmise from that is the Conservative Party agrees with everything Family First says."
Personal life and professional career
Baker was born in Lower Hutt in 1966 or 1967. He attended a private school in Auckland but moved to North Canterbury in the early 1990s. He has worked on a sheep farm in Dargaville, and as a builder, and now runs a building company. Baker and his wife, Sue, and have four grown children and four grandchildren with a fifth on the way in August 2017.
- "Conservative Party List 2011" (in en). Electoral Commission. http://www.elections.org.nz/events/past-events-0/2011-general-election/parties-candidates-and-promoters-2011-general-election--9.
- Commission, New Zealand Electoral. "Official Count Results – Christchurch East". http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2011/electorate-5.html.
- "Official Count Results – Waimakariri". http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2008/electorate-55.html.
- Vance, Andrea (4 March 2015). "Colin Craig: Conservative Party doing fine". http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/66936443/colin-craig-conservative-party-doing-fine.
- Kirk, Stacey (16 November 2015). "Colin Craig not seeking re-election as Conservative Party leader". http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/74089024/colin-craig-not-seeking-reelection-as-conservative-party-leader.
- Sachdeva, Sam (19 January 2016). "Colin Craig donates $36,000 to Conservative Party after resigning as leader". http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/76001561/colin-craig-donates-36000-to-conservative-party-after-resigning-as-leader.
- Sachdeva, Sam (4 October 2016). "Colin Craig: Where did he come from, and where will he go next?" (in English). Stuff.co.nz. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/national/politics/84940504/Colin-Craig-Where-did-he-come-from-and-where-will-he-go-next.
- "New Leader for the Conservative Party". Conservative Party. 24 January 2017. http://www.conservativeparty.org.nz/index.php/2017/01/24/new-leader-for-the-conservative-party/. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
- "Leighton Baker appointed as new Conservative Party leader". 24 January 2017. http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/01/leighton-baker-appointed-as-new-conservative-party-leader.html.
- Davison, Isaac (5 March 2017). "The Conservative Party says exclusion from political debate 'unfair'". http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11812439.
- Matthews, Philip (19 August 2017). "Life after Colin: Does the Conservative Party have a chance in 2017?". Dominion Post. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/95829627/life-after-colin-does-the-conservative-party-have-a-chance-in-2017. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
- "Chch East candidate: Leighton Baker". The Press. 16 November 2013. http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/the-east/9407255/Chch-East-candidate-Leighton-Baker.