Will Labour and Māori Party do a deal so they win more seats off fewer votes?

The Herald reports:

Te Pāti Māori president John Tamihere has some political korero for his ex-talkback co-host and Labour Māori campaign strategist Willie Jackson – concede some of the Māori seats and go hard for the party vote. …

Jackson said Tamihere was taking a cold hard clinical view, which he understands but was one step too far at this stage.

“The Māori electorates have history of blood, sweat, years and tears involved that I have to balance against what JT is saying and that’s not easily given away,” Jackson said.

“I get what John is saying but it is not a deal we can do at the moment.”

The key words here, bolded by me, is that Labour are only ruling this out at this stage. If they remain behind in the polls, they could well do a dirty deal to deliberately generate a disproportional Parliament where they get fewer votes but stay in Government.

Let’s say the election result is:

  • National 37.0%, 48 seats
  • Labour 34.5%, 44 seats
  • ACT 11.0% 14 seats
  • Greens 9.0%, 12 seats
  • Māori Party 1.5%, 2 seats

The CR has 48% and the CL 45% and this gives the CR 62/120 and the CL 58/120.

But what happens is Labour throws the seven Maori seats to the Māori Party. They get seven seats, with an overhang of five seats, So then we have Labour/Green/Māori Party with 63/125 and National/ACT with 62/125. So they stay in Government despite getting 3% less party vote.

Willie saying not yet, is code for “We’ll do it if we get desperate”.

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