Will Helen go early?

I said on this morning, that there is a reasonable chance (not a probability, but a significant possibility) that Helen Clark may call an early election.

Why?

Just one reason, really.

The thought of Owen Glenn testifying to the Privileges Committee. This is the stuff of nightmares for Helen and her Foreign Minister.

If she goes early, she kils off the inquiry for Winston, and secures his loyalty post-election if he gets back (and she needs him to do so to have a chance).

And even better, the inquiry can not be re-established in a new Parliament.

So Helen will be reading the results of the UMR poll on how she has handled Winston very carefully. And if she is worried about what Owen Glenn may say, she will do anything to stop that happening.

Owen is asked by a Maori Party MP whether he was behind the $250,000 offered donation to the Maori Party, if they would agree to back Labour? If you are Helen, do you want to run the risk of that?

Owen won’t back up Winston’s claims to have known nothing at all about his donation? How do you look if as PM you didn’t even take the simple step of verifying this yourself?

So if Helen does call a snap or early election, it will not be due to any of the public reasons she will trot out. They will be as ludicrous as her justification for the 2002 snap election – she claimed an extra 12 minutes a day of points or order (about the status of the Alliance) had paralyzed Parliament and made governign impossible.

The reason will be the possible testimony of Owen G Glenn – Labour’s largest donor.

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