Another poll has shown the Greens under 5% and the Herald on Sunday warns they face political oblivion.
Certainly the Greens are more likely to make 5% than ACT, and it is too early to make predictions (the campaigns have not yet even started). However it is clear that the biggest victim of Labour’s student loan bribe has been the Greens. Labour have a 7% lead over National and I suspect with that lead are not too worried where the support comes from, photo opportunities not withstanding.
They have a fairly difficult job to convince Labour voters to vote Greens. First of all it may be critically important to be the largest party in Parliament. United Future have said they will first try to negotiate with the largest party, and it will also be an important factor for NZ First who will want a two-party deal not a three or four party arrangement.
The other aspect is how much policy influence they are likely to get. I can’t see it as being anything but limited. For example there is not a hope in hell of universal allowances now that Labour have blown the education budget on the no interest loans bribe. In areas of significant disagreement there is also no chance of a policy influence. Labour is not going to scrap the free trade deal with China. They are not going to scrap all funding for new roads etc. In fact the sort of things the Greens want are often stuff Labour would be inclined to do anyway, which makes it hard to claim credit for.