What they’ll need to do

Vernon Small muses on one of MMP’s downsides – the need for coalition partners:

. . . In Cunliffe’s case, he can be relatively certain Internet-Mana will be there.

His bigger concern is the political Centre’s negative views of Harawira, his Left-wing allies and Internet founder Kim Dotcom – and more generally about the increasingly fractured Centre-Left vote.

Labour’s vote softened measurably after the Internet-Mana deal became known. It believes that was not because the new party took Labour votes but more because it was a bridge too far for floating voters to contemplate a four or five-way alternative government.

And Labour knows – because it has already started – that National will use that against it.

It is a difficult line for Cunliffe to walk. He needs to emphasise the stability of a three-way deal with the Greens and NZ First – both of which have the advantage of being parties that win in their own right and will, if in Parliament, have achieved more than 5 per cent support. He can contrast that with National’s vassal parties, there only at Key’s favour.

Voters could choose a weak Labour Party propped up by the Green and NZ First parties with the added frightener of Internet Mana or a strong National Party with two or three very small coalition partners.

That’s a choice between instability, uncertainty and backwards policies from the left or stability, certainty and forward momentum from the centre right.

But strategising at the party’s weekend Congress pointed up the problem. Labour was stacking up its potential pluses just to get over the line.

It could push up to about 30, with a good ground game and organisation, the Greens bring about 12 per cent, NZ First would add another 5-6 per cent and Internet-Mana would add the final cherry on top. Presto, 51 per cent.

Over at the National conference the previous week, the mirror-image argument was being played out by its strategists.

Achieve close to 50 per cent and we govern alone. Fall to the mid 40s, and Labour with its allies could get the numbers. Subtext? Deals with our minor allies may be crucial, so brace yourself for Key’s announcement of deals with the minnows.

Memo to Cunliffe and Key: if you are counting them into your thinking, so will the voters.

Memo to voters: look less at what they say they will do and more at what they may need to do to win power.

A weak Labour Party would have to do, and concede, a lot more than a strong National party would.

We're for stable government.

6 Responses to What they’ll need to do

  1. And Key will have Colin Craig. Will ACT put up another criminal to shore up the Key-led National Party? Peter Dunne is looking terribly lame these days, well, even lamer than usual. It doesn’t look at all good for National. The quality of potential partners is just not there.

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  2. Gravedodger says:

    Guyton, Saturday Smiles is where you should have placed that comment.
    I guess you were one of the basics that had Mr Cunliffe saying sorry he was a man.
    Banks and Dunne are both experienced politicians with track records of stable executive effort and service.

    That you laud Harawira with his outspoken offensive racist rants, Norman with a serious propensity to undermine our financial markets, Peters with well documented failings of process and openess, A convicted criminal attempting to politically evade a likely extradition process and a Man,term used advisedly, seeking to cat herd them all into a stable administration as a better option casts your already suspect judgement into further serious doubt.

    Your efforts here are so desperate and laden with false hope, they make whistling in the dark seem eminently sensible precautionary efforts.
    One thing You do achieve is you prevent any remote chance of complacency and potential non voting.

    I guess Jamie Whyte and David Seymor have little regard for your opinions and statements about their links to criminal convictions but you should really publish such outlandish insinuations at your blog, at least you will have a defence in its very small readership LOL.

    Very poor form Guyton.

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  3. Banks has been judged guilty.
    Nothing more to say about that Righty.
    Jamie Whyte?
    Oh dear.
    Dunne? Gone.
    Colin Craig? Fruit-loop.
    More hideous a hydra could hardly be imagined. If that’s what you’ve got your hopes pinned on, Gravedodger, you’re screwed.

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  4. Oh, and Peters – Key’ll need to suck up to him, come September, and once that edifying spectacle has seared our eyes and brains for weeks, Peters will cast Key into the abyss of political history, spectacularly and gratifyingly.
    Popcorn.

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  5. RBG says:

    Curious Robert Guyton that you are so confident that Peters will reject Key. I don’t share that confidence, Peters could go either way and if NZ First hold the balance of power I’d probably put my money on Peters stretching it out for as long as possible, wallowing in as much media attention as he can, then going with the Nats.

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  6. He’ll stretch it………………………………then he’ll pay Key back for his nasty behaviour that did Winston so much harm. A spurned Winston waits, waits and waits 🙂

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