Eugenie Sage (List), Jane Logie (List), Steffan Browning (List), Denise Roche (List), Holly Walker (List), Julie Anne Genther (List). Mojo Mathers may come in on specials.
The Greens break the 10% barrier, which may be a first for a Green Party. They grow their caucus by four or five MPs, and just as importantly ranked their list smartly so that the new MPs are relatively youthful and talented. They have changed their brand significantly, no longer seen as the radical hippies. All very good achievements. They probably never have to worry about dropping below the 5% threshold again.
They will be slightly disappointed that as usual the vote dropped back from the polls. Getting James Shaw in would have been a coup. It also would have positioned them better to try and be seen as a “major” party not a “minor” party. But they only have five more seats than NZ First, so will be clumped together with them as a large minor party.
The only other disappointment for them, is one they had no control over. Labour did so badly that once again they are not in Government.
To some degree their biggest challenge is NZ First. The left could do well in 2014, but it is hard to see that Labour and Greens alone could win a majority. This means that NZ First may hold the balance of power. As in 2005, this could see Peters insist to Labour that the Greens do not get to be Ministers as the price of their votes for confidence and supply. There may be no way for the Greens to ever get into Government unless they can reach some common ground with NZ First.
Another challenge is the relationship with National. The decision to do a policy co-operation agreement with them in 2008 paid off, as did their decision to not rule them out in 2011. It is part of the reason their vote increased. What areas can they get a policy co-operation agreement in, and how do they walk that line between not being too close to National but also not being seen as just a greener shade of Labour?Tags: Greens