Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman Garth McVicar said dozens of the trust's supporters had called in support of Mr Garrett, and they had expressed interest in a Garrett-led independent party with a law and order focus.
He said he had discussed this with Mr Garrett before last week's events.
"He was happy where he was at with the Act Party, but obviously things have [now] changed significantly."A Garrett-led party would probably be doomed, because the man's reputation is permanently tarnished. But I have always thought someone like Garth McVicar would be a potentially potent politician. He talks in soundbites, knows all the journalists, and seems unflappable in the face of clear evidence that "get tough" law and order policies don't reduce crime. How do you fight such a man?
If the SST set up its own party it would probably leach some support away from ACT initially. But, conversely, ridding itself of "tough on crime" policies might allow ACT to return to its roots, and may be the only viable future for the party.
I'm not convinced we'll see a Sensible Sentencing Party at the next election. It probably wouldn't get 5% on its own. But McVicar stands for more than just tougher sentences. If you read the press statements and listen to the speeches you realise at heart he's a moral conservative. The situation in the US tells us that the disaffected on the right can be dangerous and powerful when they get organised. Just as there's a "market" for economic liberalism, there's probably also one for hardcore moral conservatives. Our own Tea Party?