Winston Peters has written to the PM saying NZ First thinks the election should be delayed as an election on 19 September won’t be free or fair.
This means parties representing the majority of the House of Representatives support delaying the election, and hence having the House sit on Tuesday.
Peters points out even in a snap election such as 1984 there was 29 days to campaign, but in 2020 parties will only have six days to campaign before overseas voting starts and nine days for advance voting.
The last few paras of his letter are telling:
“New Zealand First believes we risk undermining the legitimacy of the election result, creating an awful precedent which could be abused by the Prime Minister’s successors.
“People will be driven to the conclusion, in the absence of any empirical evidence to the contrary, that the election date choice is being forced from a minority position to achieve a certain outcome.
“This is a most regrettable yet avoidable situation. We are here as Members of Parliament first and foremost, not just as members of political parties.
“We are releasing our letter of August 14 for the sake of transparency, and because we believe the Governor General of New Zealand needs to know that the majority in the House of Representatives favours an election delay.”
That last paragraph is very important. It is telling the Governor-General that if the Prime Minister advises her to dissolve Parliament, it is against the wishes of the majority of MPs in Parliament.