The latest ONCB poll clearly shows a change of Government is more likely than a month ago. This is no surprise.
The biggest challenge to Labour forming a Government has always been that they would need three significant parties to agree – Labour, Greens and NZ First. Winston partly chose National over Labour in 1996 because he did want not a third party in Government – the Alliance. Having a third party there reduces your negotiating power massively with the major party.
If Labour and NZ First can form a Government by themselves, then I think that is the more likely outcome than a National – NZ First Government. They have greater policy similarity.
But you know what, this is not a bad thing in the long-term, if the Greens are out of Parliament. I’d happily have a Labour – NZ First Government for a term as the price to pay for one less party on the left. Because in the long-term not having the Greens there will make it much more likely there will be National-led Governments in future.
If National goes out of office on 44% of the vote, then it only really need to pick up 3% over three years to get back in.
I’d like there to be a Green Party in Parliament if it was like the Maori Party – willing to work with whichever party is in Government to achieve better outcomes for their key area of concern (environment). But the Greens have become the party of welfare fraud, and won’t succeed as that.
If the Greens do get knocked out of Parliament, then it is an opportunity for them to refocus, and come back as a German style Green Party – one able to work across the spectrum.