A vote for NZ First is a vote for a new election

Guyon Espiner on Q+A asked Winston Peters three times whether his party will refuse to give confidence and supply to either of the main parties. Three times, Winston said that was correct. Now again, Winston could wriggle out of the most iron clad guarantee, but let’s for now take him at his word (yeah, stop laughing now).

If Peters is to be taken at his word, then a vote for NZ First is a vote for a new election, if NZ First makes it and holds the balance of power.

A Prime Minister needs to demonstrate to the Governor-General that they have the confidence of the House. Peters has said he will not give confidence to either National nor Labour. This means that neither John Key nor Phil Goff will be able to be sworn in as Prime Minister. The result will be that Key as caretaker Prime Minister would have to advise the Governor-General to call another election, as no Government can remain in office without the confidence of the House.

Some people think that a lack of confidence and supply would only become an issue once a Budget needs to be passed, but this is not the case. The Government needs to always have the confidence of the House – the formal votes on confidence and supply are just an expression of that. And there would be a confidence vote during the address in reply debate which occurs at the beginning of a new Parliament.

This would mean another election in ealy 2012, at a cost of $38m or so, and a caretaker Government that would have no authority to respond to any events in Europe.

The video is here.

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