It’s like a teen drama!

March 12th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stacey Kirk at Stuff reports:

leader David Cunliffe has dismissed suggestions of a cooling in relations between his party and the , saying the would be the obvious first choice for Labour to strike a coalition with.

Yesterday, Cunliffe refused to say whether he would negotiate with the Greens before NZ First.

But today he appeared to back down from those statements, dismissing speculation that tension had arisen between the two allies.

Well Cunliffe not only distanced himself from the Greens, but described Winston as a good guy. That’s a great deal of enthusiasm for him. I guess he regards lying to the media, public and Parliament over his knowledge of the Owen Glenn donation doesn’t stop him being a good guy.

The backdown comes after the Greens lodged an official complaint with Labour over outspoken MP Shane Jones’ attacks on the party.

Yesterday, Cunliffe said he would work with whatever cards the voters delivered after the September 20 election.

“That may indeed quite likely be with the Greens, it may well be with … NZ First.”

But he would not say the Greens would be his first choice, saying there was “no preordained order”.

This morning, he told Firstline talking with the Greens first was the logical step, if in a position to form a Government.

The Greens are somewhat terrified that Labour will lock them out of Government if Winston demands it as the price of his support. And what could they do about it? Vote for a National-led Government? Of course not. They’d have to just swallow the butter medicine.

The reality is that it looks incredibly improbable that Labour and Greens will have enough seats by themselves to form a Government after the election. Even a bauble to Hone won’t get them over the line. They’ll need Winston and as he has the option of going with National (which the Greens do not), he has all the power.

UPDATE: And looking even worse for the Greens, as Peters says they can’t win without him and his policy is to rule them out:

Winston Peters doesn’t think a Labour/Greens coalition can win the September 20 election.

Chris Trotter thinks they can’t win also. Back to Peters:

Mr Peters says Labour’s strategists must be worried because they must know they can’t win with the Greens.

“They know full well that those two parties can’t get up in this election,” he said on Radio New Zealand.

“Some people should get their hard hats on, because together they won’t make it.”

Before the 2005 election Mr Peters ruled out working with the Greens in a coalition government, and says his position hasn’t changed since then.

But he didn’t rule it out.

“We are six months out from an election and from what we have heard thus far our position has not changed from 2005 on the Greens,” he said.

“However, they’ve got six months in which they might make changes, so you can’t rule that out.”

The Greens are not going to change their policies in the next six months to appease Peters. So if he holds the balance of power, he will block the Greens from Government as a price of support for Labour.

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43 Responses to “It’s like a teen drama!”

  1. Monty (964 comments) says:

    Winston will never go with the labour Green Party. Although the second most corrupt politician in living memory, he remains a smart politician. He will not want to play Third fiddle to Cunliffe and Norman. He also knows no room is big enough to handle the egos of Cunliffe and Norman and himself.

    And he knows green policies are batshit crazy.

    A coalition of the damned will last several months only. Winston knows this. I think he will be happy to play second fiddle to Key. He will also want to be constructive in that he will now want to have as his legacy as destroying every government he has been a part of.

    Of course Winston is an arse. The whole country knows this. Labour and green politicians voted for Winston last time in an effort to toss Key out. But this time the risk for the labour and Green Party is that Winston will go with National if he returns. On that basis I think there is a reasonable chance that Winston will not be returned.

    The best way for stable government is for national to govern alone and without any support party. No Winston would be the best outcome.

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  2. YesWeDid (1,029 comments) says:

    ‘I guess he regards lying to the media, public and Parliament over his knowledge…..’

    Strange day to pull out that line DPF, I guess you’ve moved from the Judith Collins thing already.

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  3. Ryan Sproull (7,033 comments) says:

    I promise I won’t pull the ball away this time, Charlie Brown.

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  4. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    The Greens might be terrified that Labour will lock them out of government, thereby continuing their record of failure as the only parliamentary party to have never been in government. But Labour are terrified that even a token Green presence in a coalition will leave them in the same state as Labor in Australia, committed to Green policies that made a mess of the economy and ended up with Labour being wiped out at the next election.

    Meanwhile, the voters in NZ are terrified by the thought of a Labour-Green-NZ First-Mana-Maori coalition. Greens hate NZ First. NZ First hate the Greens, partly because they’re competing for the same anti-Asian vote. Hone hates Maori. Maori hate Mana. Jones hates the Greens. The Greens hate Jones, and have squealed on him to Cunliffe. It’d be a coalition less coherent than a bag full of cats.

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  5. ShawnLH (3,580 comments) says:

    Labour will not lead the next government. That is now crystal clear. The circus on the Left will be punished by voters.

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  6. mikenmild (10,766 comments) says:

    Look for a replay of 1996, as Peters drags out negotiations with Labour and National for weeks before signing up with National.

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  7. Peter (1,578 comments) says:

    If Peters keeps the Greens out, then he certainly has his uses. Agree a great result would be National governing alone, and Winston below 5%.

    The best result would be Greens joining him….

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  8. Huevon (192 comments) says:

    I’m not triumphant yet. There are a lot of retarded voters in NZ. Anything can happen.

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  9. Alan (1,064 comments) says:

    Anti Key voters now know they can vote Winston to keep both Key and the Greens out of power.

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  10. ShawnLH (3,580 comments) says:

    “I’m not triumphant yet. There are a lot of retarded voters in NZ. Anything can happen.”

    True. But historically NZ’ers prefer stability to chaos in their governments, and if this circus of Winston/Jones/Norman carries on, and it will, there is no way Labour can win.

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  11. Tautaioleua (289 comments) says:

    Helen Clark deserves universal praise for the way she handled the Greens; calling them the last cab off the rank and locking them out of government all 3 times.

    The classic “hard to get” strategy.

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  12. Komata (1,114 comments) says:

    A thought, which no-one in the MSM seems to have have so-far considered:

    JK incorporated the Maori party into his government, even though he didn’t and doesn’t need to. At the time it first occurred was a case of ‘keeping your enemy close’ as by doing so he neutralised the threat which the Maori party posed with their race-based agitation.

    If National DOES get to have enough seats to govern alone (one wishes), then what will happen to the Maori Party?

    Will they be ‘incorporated into ‘/ ‘associated-with’ National (as a ‘courtesy’) or will they be ‘side-lined’, since National has enough to go it alone?

    It’s an interesting possibility, and raises a question about the Maori Party’s future. Will they revert to ‘stirring’ or….

    As I said, no-one seems to have given this possibility any consideration.

    Any thoughts?

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  13. iMP (2,248 comments) says:

    This is all silly. For Cunliffe to have any hope of being in ANY coalition discussions, it will ONLY be because the Greens have iced his cake. For years now its been

    National vs Labour/Greens.

    Labour cannot command enough votes to even anywhere near. And the Green vote is essentially cannibalised earlier Lab. vote anyway.

    So move along people nothing to be seen here…

    Oh, and how many days would we expect a “Labour-Green-NZ First-Mana-Maori coalition” to last? I emphasise “days.”

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  14. iMP (2,248 comments) says:

    20 Sept. Election date.

    20 Oct. New election date (if Labour-Green-NZ First-Mana-Maori coalition formed).

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  15. Alan (1,064 comments) says:

    “If National DOES get to have enough seats to govern alone (one wishes), then what will happen to the Maori Party?”

    The Maori party is very probably dead, at best it’ll retain 2 seats, more likely 1.

    If National gets enough seats to govern alone, it’ll offer the MP a continuation of the existing deal, which they’d probably refuse.

    Like Winston First, it’ll not survive the passing of it’s founders

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  16. Alan (1,064 comments) says:

    What do we think the Greens base vote is now ?

    I don’t think it’s much beyond 6%; they vastly overachieved last time round, with many “labour voters on holiday” supporting it.

    It’s not inconceivable to me that Winston could out poll them. In that situation, Cuncliffe will have no option other than to call WRP.

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  17. KevinH (1,132 comments) says:

    Winston will be looking for a Ministerial Portfolio, i.e. Foreign Minister and Associate Minister positions in Cabinet for some of his team in Trade and Finance. Whomever can deliver on those will get NZ First as a coalition partner. Despite all the acrimony, when it comes down to the line, who dares wins.

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  18. hmmokrightitis (1,516 comments) says:

    Minister of Racing, Shagging, Drinking and Green Parrot Oversight.

    The only hope is that we remove all the mirrors in the land and he has a coronary when he cant see his reflection every hour…

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  19. Komata (1,114 comments) says:

    Weally, hkr, you just MUTHN’T talk about Wutthel that way; ith not nithe and you’ll hurt the little darlings tender feelings (so that he’ll have no choith but to thend Metiria and the bwo’s wound to help get his feelingths (sowy, fwag) back).

    Now if it’s Winny you’re referring-to, just show him a glass with something strong and of an alcoholic nature inside it, and suggest he consume large quantities of the contents, problem solved…

    (and we though Rob was bad…)

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  20. lolitasbrother (487 comments) says:

    haha you gotta love it

    quote sort of from Cunliffe, via Farrar
    Yesterday, Cunliffe said he would work with whatever cards the voters delivered after the September 20 election.

    haha I can tell him, its
    Get out of New Zealand in October Cunliffe,
    and give us back our flag, do you think we will paint it red you moron

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  21. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (791 comments) says:

    Very simple equation. It will be a Labour-NZ First-Mana coalition, supported on confidence and supply by Greens and Maori party. Leader of opposition will be Steven Joyce.

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  22. kiwi in america (2,439 comments) says:

    Winston’s brutal honesty on Labour and the Greens’ chances has really set the cat amongst the pigeons. It’s the clearest signal yet that he’d refuse to play third fiddle to Cunliffe and especially Norman and/or Turei. The Greens complaining to McCarten about Jones’ snarky comments about their nutty policies is evidence of the Greens edginess that Cunliffe will do a Clark on them.

    The mutual loathing and jealousy (but need to rely on each other to have any chance of government) between Labour and the Greens leaves a sense of unease hanging over them that even the unengaged ‘Waitakere Man’ voter can sense. Jones’ comments (and the way he makes them) are uncontroversial common sense and strike at the heart of one of Cunliffe’s most serious problems (amongst many) and that is the fear middle NZ voters have with the possibility of the Greens in government. Norman’s hinting at overturning a court decision to extradite Dotcom after pleading trips to Coatesville exposed him as an unprincipled ideologue with an immediate negative impact in the polls.

    Poor polling by the centre-left is unearthing all these seething issues that had hitherto remained somewhat under wraps when there was the sniff of victory and they are now all coming out into the open. For one of Cunliffe’s strongest and most cogent supporters on the left (Chris Trotter) to say he can’t win (and why) is more damning than anything John Key and the Nats could ever say. With a strengthening economy and all the gradual flow on benefits that brings to middle NZ, the momentum to changing to a Labour/Greens government is slim to non existent.

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  23. ShawnLH (3,580 comments) says:

    Labour really only has 1 chance. Shane Jones leads a coup, takes the leadership from Cunliffe, moves the party closer to the centre and away from the greens/hard left, and strikes an agreement/alliance with NZF.

    Even then they would still have an uphill battle against Key and the Nats.

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  24. duggledog (1,362 comments) says:

    Come on people; wake up. The Greens, by association, are an albatross around Labour’s neck of epic proportions. What would you do to compete with National? Get the f*** away from the Greens; there’s no other way, at all.

    Jones is the trojan horse; McCarten knows Labour can only improve its numbers by getting someone (Jones) to start dropping Waitakere-man-style sound bites left right and centre, to get Labour away from being associated with the mental Greenies. Since National swallowed much of Labour (Tony Blair style only in reverse) Labour NZ has been treading water and they need a circuit breaker. They can’t compete.

    Jones is the one to do it; observe today the brilliant line ‘I am not going to be lectured to by an Australian’. Genius. Bang.

    Cunliffe can remain aloof and untainted and open to negs with Rusty and crazy Turei

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  25. deadrightkev (280 comments) says:

    Peters is yesterdays charlatan. I cannot believe that people think he will have the horsepower to get over 5%.

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  26. ShawnLH (3,580 comments) says:

    deadrightkev,

    With WP’s track record I would never count him out.

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  27. James Stephenson (2,040 comments) says:

    If National gets enough seats to govern alone, it’ll offer the MP a continuation of the existing deal, which they’d probably refuse.

    JK has already said that even if they get the numbers to govern alone, they’ll include their current coalition partners, hasn’t he?

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  28. duggledog (1,362 comments) says:

    KIA – great post.

    I suggest National watches Shane Jones very, very carefully, (probably are!) and that they take steps because this shit is going to erode their shit real quick. ‘Rogue’ ‘naughty’ MP makes unsettling comments about the insane Greenies… leader huffs and haws… watch the polls.

    The constituents at large all distrust politicians completely, yet they won’t see the sneaky little machinations right before their noses. They’ll fall for Jones’ soundbites and then wonder why they have an administration that does feature Green weirdos in the Cabinet.

    Right up to the election Labour will be distancing themselves from the Greens but to get the massively successful National out, they will include the Greens.

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  29. Johnboy (15,047 comments) says:

    “Helen Clark deserves universal praise for the way she handled the Greens; calling them the last cab off the rank and locking them out of government all 3 times.

    The classic “hard to get” strategy.”

    She only became “hard to get” after photoshop like this!…

    https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=Helen+Clark&biw=1366&bih=640&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=bAsgU9WrBs-alQWslIG4CQ&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=nNyLIOwEWoKgeM%253A%3BJfn8P0TC-z5nOM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fstatic.guim.co.uk%252Fsys-images%252FGuardian%252FPix%252Fpictures%252F2008%252F06%252F09%252Fhc4.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.theguardian.com%252Fnews%252Fblog%252F2008%252Fnov%252F07%252Fnewzealand-election-helen-clark%3B460%3B276

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  30. Viking2 (11,147 comments) says:

    Of course the other option might be; NZ First ,Labour, Mana, Maori and Greens with Winston as PM.

    Choke in ya coffee!:lol:

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  31. Colville (2,085 comments) says:

    duggledog @ 7.03
    The Problem for Labour (among a few) is that they cannot move over and try to take on the Nats in the center.
    If they do they hand over about 10 % of the vote to the melons.
    Cun*liffe and Co must first kill off the Gweens before trying to take on the Nats.

    If in 2014 the Gweens take a hell of a beating, say down to 7%, will current leadership have what it takes to keep hold of the reins?

    That is what Labour may be looking for. Take Wussel out then have a go at ever who takes over from Key.

    2 election campain strategy?

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  32. hmmokrightitis (1,516 comments) says:

    Johnboy, as for photos of the SB, my favourite is still..

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/06/13/for-honour-principle-or-personal-gain-will-new-zealands-real-leakers-and-moles-step-forward/#!prettyPhoto/2/

    Used it in a presentation on digital futures once to a left leaning arts crowd. The sharp intake of breath and animosity directed towards me was worth it for that moment alone :)

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  33. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    urch uuurch bluuuuurrrrrrchhhh kakak. thanks sheep shagger always liked looking at the faces of the harpy. Instant reminder of how evil bitter and twisted it was. Still look how good it left the party . labour still havent grown its balls back after they were eaten by the harpy. Good coming from evil.

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  34. Johnboy (15,047 comments) says:

    Just you wait till the lovely little girl is running the UN hmmokrightitis….. Images such as yours will be expunged from historical records! :)

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  35. Johnboy (15,047 comments) says:

    Evening Minus! :) ……..There is a life other than KB you know! :)

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  36. duggledog (1,362 comments) says:

    Colville

    ‘The Problem for Labour (among a few) is that they cannot move over and try to take on the Nats in the center’

    Of course they can. By lying and bribing.

    The Greens will be forever the bridesmaid. McCarten knows enough to know that imperative number one is to distance Labour from the Greens or they are stuck in no man’s land, similarly forever, while National remains all things to all people (or the vast majority) and that’s what it’s all about sports fans. Of course once in power we will see a Labour Greens monster that will be worse than Muldoon’s era

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  37. you reap what you sow (29 comments) says:

    Mate, Whinne and Shane Jones are bros. the greens aren’t in the same hemisphere.

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  38. WineOh (557 comments) says:

    Actually I think Winston would still rather go with the Greens and Labour rather than the Nats. They need him more than the right does. Plus the left-bloc is so bereft of decent leadership he can get more of what he wants and bully his way to more influence whereas up against the Key coalition he would just be left the little angry man with some token appointment.

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  39. griffith (1,111 comments) says:

    ya get the green and the whinny and mix. slow combustion . add mana and the maori party. Popcorn time :lol: for at most 25 weeks . Then minority government for national.
    That is if uf Colen Gwaig godnut party and act fall at the national retained 5% hurdle.
    Whinny knows this so do the greens . Confidence and supply in exchange for a few baubles/ wink national.

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  40. kiwi in america (2,439 comments) says:

    Duggledog
    I agree with your comments re Jones. He has real electoral potency but his spanking the Greens has zero effect on Labour’s popularity because he’s not the leader. All it does is highlight the caucus tensions and put the spotlight on the electorally unpleasant fact that Labour still need the Greens to govern.

    The problem is Labour is still rend asunder by the two major factions. Clark and the sisterhood never really were able to completely purge the party of the Rogernomes and others on the centre right inside Labour. This group had ascendency in the caucus once Key beat Clark in 2008 hence the elevation of Goff to the leadership and then Shearer. The harder left party membership struck back with the Constitutional changes giving them and the unions more power and two successive defeats by right leaning members of the ABC club has emboldened the left in the party to go for the doctor and elect Cunliffe who in turn has attempted to please the base with the true red Labour rhetoric.

    The polls however are proving that the strategy of Labour moving to the left to unlock the so-called missing 800,000 voters (that the left magically believe are waiting to vote Labour if only Labour were more Michael Savage and less Michael Cullen) has done little more than take some votes off the Greens whilst they shed more centrist voters to the Nats. The problem of the divide between a caucus 2/3rds in favour of someone from the right and the party 2/3rds in favour of someone from the left remains. Remember that Robertson promised much the same as Cunliffe in the primary so if the left leaning party sees Cunliffe as a loser because of his pratfalls, they would still oppose a Jones led lurch back to the centre. Electoral reality might cause the party to hold their nose and vote for Jones but all the activist base would sit on their hands and not do the hard work of electioneering similar to the current go slow we hear about from the ABC MPS. McCarten would be gone. The LOO Office would have to start from scratch again with only 6 months to go to the election and Jones has enough baggage for the Nats to needle him into pratfalls. His pithy punchy sound bites that are serving so well right now with the intense scrutiny as LOO in a long election campaign mode that we are now in likely will cause Jones to make as many unforced errors as Cunliffe. Jones shares some of Cunliffe’s negative traits (laziness and egotism) and brings some misogyny to the table as well. National’s team ought to be preparing for a Hail Mary move like replacing Cunliffe with Jones. Either leader exposes the fundamentally incompatible factions within Labour that are utterly irreconcilable thus fatally undermining its electability.

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  41. Scott1 (455 comments) says:

    Labour’s problem is they need a decent swing not just a point or two and the average NZder just wont believe Jones represents the Labour party unless the leader comes out and supports him.

    As per KIA their activist base is leading them down the path of unelectability. I think National would cope well with a Hail Mary change to Jones, Labour would be taken apart and even with a short period to attack Jones he would make some sort of stumble they could capitalize on to drive Labour to record lows in the election.

    In the end if Labour wants to be pragmatic and win in the negotiations (if they can get it close enough) Labour needs to go with NZfirst and NOT the greens. The greens can then be outside of government voting issue by issue on an agenda set by Labour/NZfirst.

    Otherwise NZfirst goes with National (which he may well do anyway) because NZfirst has no interest being in a government which is pulled in the other direction by a larger coalition partner.

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  42. Mark (1,368 comments) says:

    KIA, agree with you entirely. Any hail mary move of replacing Cunliff is difficult. A prospective leader not only has to convince the Labour caucus, he or she has to win over the Party and the Unions. Their leadership selection process has effectively killed off any quick pre election leadership change.

    If they decided that it was necessary there would, in all likelihood be another messy process like the last one which would simply play into the hands of National

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  43. kiwi in america (2,439 comments) says:

    Mark
    If Labour sinks into the high even mid 20′s and stays there, all bets re Cunliffe are off. Most likely scenario is Cunliffe resigns and only Jones’ name is on the ballot obviating the need for a party wide election so the issue of the time it would take can be circumvented. The left/right tensions in the party remain unresolved. Jones’ strategy would be to position Labour away from the Greens, hope for a populist surge to get Labour to the low 40′s and that Winston stays above 5% and the Maori Party get 2 – 3 back. Then he can do a Clark and keep the Greens out of Cabinet. The Greens have got nowhere else to go. It’s a very tall ask and it relies on the Greens collapsing down to 6-7% which would take another major pratfall by Norman or Turei. Jones would be forced into a fight for the centre ground with National with essentially only a bare majority of his caucus and NOT his wider party behind him. That’s not a recipe for a +10% rise in 6 months. My guess is they’d only opt for Jones as a kind of Mike Moore ‘save the party’ option and they’ll hope that Cunliffe can and will improve and for the government to get embroiled in a scandal that the media will overblow.

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