It may indeed be historic but the agreement between the Green Party and Labour today may also effectively have handed the 2017 election to National on a platter.
Labour’s leader Andrew Little was at pains to emphasise the new memorandum of understanding between the two parties was “not monogamous”.
The trouble is that the one man needed to form Little’s Big Love government is NZ First leader Winston Peters and Peters prefers monogamy. …
It is certain there was some resistance in Labour’s own crew to the development. Little has made claims of supporting ‘middle New Zealand’ in recent times and the perception Labour is aligning too closely to the Greens risks undermining that.
There was a grin on Peters’ face after the announcement for a reason. Labour’s support base includes a significant chunk of working class voters who identify more with Peters than the Green Party. Peters will be betting he can scoop up some of that support from Labour. He has already begun, accusing both Labour and the Greens of selling out their supporters.
It is no secret Peters – and some Labour MPs for that matter – think the Green Party is toxic for Labour’s chances of Government. Nor is it any secret that if a Government can be formed with him alone, that is exactly how he likes it.
The only person who will be most delighted by today’s turn of events is one John Key, Prime Minister, whose chances of retaining that title just increased without him having to lift a finger.
Peters has recently said that he has never supported putting the Greens into Government, and isn’t about to start now. The best the Greens can hope for is a Labour-NZ First Government that throws them a few policy crumbs.