[Note these are what I would do if I was them, not what I actually want them to do]
Helen – have no-one but Anderton in coalition, and play off the four supporting parties against each other, with different groupings on different issues. Don’t let yourself be seen too closely linked with any one group as the others will sulk.
Don – Get re-elected Leader today (required by the rules) and make clear you intend to stay on for the next election as you led Natioanl to its biggest vote increase ever. Concede the election within an hour or so of the final count, if the left-wing parties do not lose any seats. Work out areas of maximum friction between the five parties propping up the Government, and be ruthless in applying pressure so that the Government falls apart.
Winston – take out an electoral petition in Tauranga. You will lose it, but the publicity will keep you in the media for months. Position yourself as the foes of the extremism of the Maori Party, being a mainstream voice for Maori. Support the Government while it is popular, but pull the plug once it drops significantly in the polls. Whatever you do, don’t go into the election propping up a third term Government as your party will be wiped out if you do, with no electorate seat.
Jeanette/Rod – in exchange for agreeing not to be in Cabinet, make sure you get much better policy and funding commitments than previously. Also a second select committee chair. Concentrate on green issues to maintain your brand, not socialism where you competer for votes.
Tariana/Pita – keep pretending to consider National so you can get a better deal from Labour. Don’t be pussies and accept platitudes but if they want your support demand something such as extending the deadline for filing treaty claims, or scrapping the deadline. Remember you can piss off 85% of the country as much as you like, as long as you gain votes from the 15% you are targetting.
Peter – ask for something actually useful and tangible, not just a quango which is the laughing stock of NZ. Rejoice in losing most of the religious nutters and seek to position yourself as the foes of the Greens (as Winston should do with Maori Party). This is your best chance to grow the vote – convince people that your party is the one which stops the Greens from making Government.
Rodney – first item is to have a purge of the party which would make Stalin proud, just with less blood. ACT officials have to accept that you are the Leader and without you ACT would no longer exist. The ACT infighting is what has driven so many activists to National, and it has to stop. Make Heather Deputy Leader and brand the two of yourself almost as a team – near co-leaders. Also give Heather some spinach or something so she develops a more vicious streak. Do not attack National, but differentiate on policies. Now people know ACT is safe, concentrate on rebuilding core support.
Jim – Join the Labour Party.