NZPA reports on the minor parties debate held on TVNZ’s Channel 7 yesterday. Winston refused to take part as he thinks he isn’t a minor party. Well Winnie, you got 1.1% in the latest poll – can’t get much more minor than that.
The positions of the minor parties on post-election support is interesting:
- Maori Party says they will consult with members after the election, but said could not support National if retained policy of abolishing Maori seats. My reading of this, is that they would require that policy to be dumped as one of the prices of support after the election, not that having that policy pre-election is fatal in itself (esp as the Maori Party entered negotiations after 2005 with National despite similar policy)
- Greens will declare before the election who they support, based on policies. This will be Labour. What will be interesting is if they rule out say abstaining on supply and confidence for National in return for suitable policy concessions
- United Future says it will negotiate first with the largest party
- NZ First a couple of weeks agao also said it will negotiate first with the largest party
- ACT indicated it would back National, but a bottom line would be removal of the 39c tax rate. That is a very cunning demand, which I may blog on separately at some stage
- Progressives say they will back Labour
So what you effectively have is Greens and Progressive backing Labour, ACT backing National, NZ First and United Future giving preference to the largest party, and the Maori Party genuinely swinging.
The decisions (which are unchanged from 2005) for United Future and NZ First to give first preference to the largest party, makes things very hard for Labour. You see while it is quite plausible that National’s gap over Labour may drop to say 7%or 8%, making it plus the Greens approx equal to National, it is highly highly unlikely that Labour will actually get more seats than National. And NZF and UFNZ have said they will give preference t the largest party not the largest bloc.
So in reality Labour (including Progressive) only have the Greens and maybe the Maori Party to make it over 60 seats.
Ironically their best chance of making it, is for NZ First not to be there. If NZ First get knocked out, then their vote is effectively redistributed proportionally to the parties which do qualify. If NZ First do make it, then it is very very hard for Labour to get to 61 seats with just the Greens and Maori Party (who are far from certain anyway).
The other irony is that it is arguably in National’s interest for NZ First to stay in Parliament.