The political consensus at the beginning of 2017 – election year – is that the National-led Government will hold on to power.
Not in its own right, as might have happened had John Key led them into battle, but with sufficient parliamentary support to govern comfortably. The identity and character of National’s support will likely prove the most intriguing electoral story of the year.
The most significant political event of 2017, however, could well be the collapse of the Labour Party and the emergence of the Greens as New Zealand’s leading party of the centre-left.
Here’s a test for readers. Can you name a major policy difference between Labour and Greens?
When Labour were in Government, there were many areas where the Greens differed from Labour. But Labour in opposition has adopted screeds of Green policy they used to oppose (such as paying the in work tax credit to people not in work).