One of the problems with MMP is that potential coalition partners are competing for the same votes.
Swapping votes with potential partners doesn’t change the likely strength of a coalition but it does make a difference to the strength of each party.
The Green Party has benefited from Labour’s weakness since 2008. Now David Cunliffe has to win that support back:
. . . The Greens, who don’t have any leadership problems, made strong gains during Shearer’s reign and they’ve been grabbing Labour votes.
It isn’t something that’s openly talked about because those two parties are allies and will almost certainly form a coalition government if they win, but one of Cunliffe’s priorities is to neutralise Russel Norman.
“We need the Greens to be strong, but not too strong,” a caucus source told NZ Newswire.
“We don’t intend going into the election bleeding votes on the left.” . . .
Neutralising Norman is necessary for Labour and Rodney Hide explains why it is essential for New Zealand:
He rejects more than 200 years of economic thought, he ignores the lessons of history and he dismisses everyday experience.
His views are neither reasoned nor consistent and he holds to them vehemently and angrily. He can’t argue his position. He can only denounce those who don’t share it. He doesn’t defend his views but rather shouts about them, which is politely regarded as passion.
For Mr Norman, you and I don’t earn income. We take it. It’s us who are the burden. For that reason he despises us. He double despises us because we don’t agree with him. He believes it is our greed that stops us seeing the world his way.
For Mr Norman, government tax simply recovers a little of what we have taken. Rather than a burden, Normanomics would declare tax a recovery. . .
Years of political rhetoric have blinded him to entrepreneurship and the intricacy and subtlety of the social cooperation that markets make possible.
His rhetoric has become his mantra. His politics are his substitute for thought and observation. But, of course, Mr Norman doesn’t need to be right. All he needs is power.
The radical left policies of Norman and his party are unpalatable to moderates in the centre.
If Labour moves left to neutralise Norman he also risks alienating the centre so votes gained on his left flank could be lost from his right.
But then the best way to neutralise Norman and deprive him of power is to stick with a National-led government.