Parties in power with Winston always suffer. If National does an agreement with Winston for a 4th term, they’ll end up bundled out of office in the low to mid 30s and facing nine years in opposition afterwards.
If Labour and Greens do a deal with Winston, they’ll be a one term Government. They may not even last a term, and the Greens may have to worry about the 5% threshold.
If they are in a coalition with Winston, they’ll be asked daily to comment on his latest attack on refugees or Asians or whatever. And they’ll have to humour him or face him bringing the Government down, with the net impact being their own brand gets damaged. Having Winston choose you to go into Government with him is not winning – it is losing.
The Greens risk being torn apart by divisions over Peters.
Which is why I hope he chooses them if he has the balance of power. It could see the Greens wiped out of Parliament the election after.
Winston picked up the point I made on Friday that if Labour drop just 3% more (according to their own internal polls) then Andrew Little is out of Parliament and a leaderless Labour will happily accept Winston Peters as Prime Minister in a three way left Government. A brilliant decapitation strategy for Peters.
He may not even need to steal a further 3% off Labour. If they win an additional electorate seat, then 2% will do it.