Neil Patrick Connors (b. September 9, 1964), is a Georgeland politician, who serverd as the 21st Chief Minister of Scoita from 23 June 2011 to 14 Feb 2015. He is currently Treasurer in the government of his successor, Naomi Danton . A member of the Liberal Democratic Party of the United Islands, Connors became Leader of the Scoitan Opposition on February 5, 2006, after Lisa Foster resigned to take up a position in the Georgeland Senate.
A political moderate, Connors began his political career at the University of Emilypolis , where he was President of the Labour club from 1985 to 1987. A lawyer by training, Connors became an advisor to several federal and state parliamentarians, including a brief stint in with Campbell Rhodes while Rhodes was a backbench MP in 1992. In 1993, Connors was elected to the Legislature of Scoita for the district of Connaught, succeeding Jack Walker, who had resigned from the Chief Ministership and the legislature.
Connors was appointed to the Shadow Ministry in 1998 as Shadow Minister for the Arts and Shadow Minister for Urban Renewal, but was demoted in a reshuffle after the 1999 election. At this point he began writing regular columns for the Emilypolis Star. In 1999 when the Labour Party split along largely factional lines, most of the Scoitan right-wing, including Connors, switched to Rhodes' new Liberal Party , and Connors returned to the new, smaller, Shadow Ministry as Shadow Minister for Tourism.
In 2003, following the Liberal Party's first state election loss, Connors was elected Deputy Leader, seen as a fresh face and as a counterpoint to Lisa Foster , the incumbent state leader who was drawn from the party's left wing. Connors, much more conservative than Foster, arguably commanded more respect in the Liberal party room in Scoita. The Liberal and Democratic Parties merged in 2004 to create the Liberal Democrats .
Connors was elected unanimously to replace Foster when she was appointed to the Senate in 2006, and set about reforming the LDP in Scoita to be a viable party of government, dumping some of the more socially progressive party platform and positioning the party firmly in the centre. Compared to the rest of the LDP, Connors was considered very right-wing, especially on abortion and same-sex marriage, but polls showed support for the LDP growing, especially after the 2007 election, triggered by Governor Don Mendez's refusal to sign the government's controversial Justice Act.
Connors and the LDP were defeated at the 2007 election by the Conservative incumbent Brad Zimmerman, but gained eleven seats. Zimmerman was only able to continue governing in minority with the support of the Georgeland Alliance. Connors continued to dominate in debates and opinion polls throughout the Zimmerman minority government.
In March 2011, the LDP initiated a no-confidence motion against the Zimmerman government after an enquiry revealed the Chief Minister had acted improperly in the dismissal of the Aliceport City Council. The Alliance voted with the Liberal Democrats. Zimmerman immediately requested a new election, which saw the Tories lose power for the first time in fifteen years. Connors negotiated for a minority government in coalition with the Alliance. He became the state's first Liberal Democratic Chief Minister, and Alliance leader Ken Richardson Deputy Chief Minister .
The Connors government was beset with difficulties. Lacking a strong majority and with significant internal infighting, Connors struggled to dominate over Tory leader John Grainger in the polls. Further, in May 2013 a high-profile row between Connors and Richardson was secretly recorded and leaked to the press, showing deep divisions in the government. The government's education reform policy had been stymied by opposition from teachers' unions, and unemployment in the state continued to grow due to a collapse in commodity prices. By April 2014, unemployment had reached a record 13.3%, and Treasurer Dermot Monaghan was forced to annouce deep austerity measures to keep the state budget afloat.
In Feruary 2014, Connors called an election , hoping to win a second term. Plagued with their own corruption and division issues, the Tory vote collapsed to its lowest ever rate, and the Greens won a record 15 seats. The Greens refused to enter into any coalition agreement with the Alliance, and demanded Connors' resignation as the price of such an agreement. After initially refusing, Connors agreed to step down on February 11, due to pressure from his party room. He was succeeded as party leader by Naomi Danson, who became Chief Minister. Connors was appointed as Treasurer by Danson in the new cabinet, In protest, two Green members, Barry Duffy and Siobhan Ross, left the Greens to sit as Independents.
|Position||Chief Minister of Scoita|
|Term in office||June 23 2011 - 14 February 2015|
|Preceded by||Brad Zimmerman|
|Succeeded by||Naomi Danson|
|Political party||Liberal Democrat|
|Total time in office||Incumbent|
|Born||9th September 1964|
|Spouse||Melissa Connors (married 1998)|
|Chief Minister of Scoita|
June 23, 2011 - February 14, 2015