Next election is a “a three-way fight” says Winston

What does he mean by that?

At first sight it seems obvious what he means. Next year’s election will essentially be between National. Labour/Greens and NZ First.

The question it has raised is whether he considers Labour and the Greens to be one party in terms of coalition negotiations.

They’ve signed a memorandum of understanding that means they’ll work together in the lead-up to the election.

It doesn’t commit them to anything after the election, but they’ll almost certainly form the next government together if they have the numbers to oust the government.

Should Peters be the king-maker, and all the polls indicate he will be, which party would he first negotiate with?

His previous post-election position has been to first deal with the party that wins the most votes.

If that’s National, there’s no issue.

But if the combined Labour/Greens vote is more than National’s, would he first go to them?

He will want everyone to think so.  But there are bottom-lines to Winston’s participation, and one is that he will never share a cabinet room with Green MPs.  

Or would he consider Labour, which has little chance of beating National one-on-one, to be a main party on its own?

In that case he would first negotiate with National.

Peters isn’t likely to clear that up any time soon. He has never explained what he intends doing post-election, and he won’t this time.

But it’s an interesting scenario, even though which side he deals with first might not mean much in the end.

He’ll get the most out of it that he can, and that could mean trading one side off against the other.

Yes, he’ll maximise his returns, much in excess to the electoral support for his party.   Most importantly, he will want to lock in certain wins that will guarantee NZ First an increased party vote in 2020.

NZ First is stronger than it was in 2014, when there was a question hanging over its ability to reach the five per cent threshold.

Its poll ratings have been consistently higher since then and Peters has won the Northland electorate seat.

Peters has previously rejected the option of being part of a three-way coalition, and he’s likely to do so again if the Greens have more seats than NZ First.

Or would be consider it’s a two-way deal because Labour and the Greens are joined at the hip?

We’ll see.

The question will be:  will the Greens remain a coalition partner outside of cabinet just to allow Winston and Labour to replace National?


– Peter Wilson, NZN

  • XCIA

    I will never change my opinion that Peters is a consummate liar and self seeking bauble accumulator. Trust him to do the right thing – never.

    • Michelle

      What bugs me most is the Media party give him a free ride, no one dares to question him on anything or snoop round his donations or anything else
      He is a cunning slippery eel that one

  • Gerrit

    What would be interesting if the split at the election was NZF 20%, Greens 10%,Labour 21%. with National on 48% and the rest 1%.

    Peters may well think he will be PM with the Greens and Labour. But how long will it last? Or he could swallow the dead rat and go with National in a patronising “minister of racing” role instead of deputy or even PM?

    National may well decide to sit on the opposition benches whilst NZF, Labour and Greens collapse into a heap. Then when a snap election is called sweep the floor.

    • XCIA

      If there is a sniff of the first scenario happening prior to the event, ensure that you divest everything you have into a solid overseas currency.

    • Tom

      I doubt National will want to be in opposition. I bet the first thing those 3 parties do is vote themselves public money to run their election campaigns.

      • Gerrit

        Probably not however if Peters said PM or no support, National either have to accept or be in opposition. There is no position of strength for National to negotiate from. It is either with Peters (NZF) or nothing. As such Peters can ask to be PM.

  • Dog Breath

    A three way government consisting of labour Greens and NZ First will solve the housing crisis by simply doing nothing and watch the outflow of NZ best and brightest which is exactly what happened when the 5th Labour government in coalition with the Alliance with Green support came to power in 1999 and began raising the top tax rate. By 2000 the exodus was in full swing. The housing market will collapse leaving those who remain with large negative equity in their homes.
    It’s not a matter of if this scenario would happen it would be how quickly it would happen.

  • OneTrack

    “But there are bottom-lines to Winston’s participation, and one is that he will never share a cabinet room with Green MPs”

    No means no. Or something.

    If Winston wants to play a year or two as PM, Labour/Greens will give it to him. What could go wrong?

    Or National might come to the party, make Winston DPM or even PM, and demote Key to the backbench.

    So who, or what, would we be voting for? Ain’t MMP grand.

    • duve

      If National needed Winston’s support to retain power, he would have no compunction in demanding to be PM – and he would be given what he asked for.

  • oldmanNZ

    What if all the Asians and indians voted for the people party?

    A long shot… But could happen in nz

  • Boondecker

    I see it as a three way fight between the second tier parties; Labour, Greens and NZ First.

    National will remain the Queen’s king maker for the foreseeable future (i.e. until Labour eventually come up with a realistic policy and a leader that can deliver the message. At present, neither is among their Parliamentary ranks).

  • Crowgirl

    The best thing that can happen is that if NZ First has to be part of the next government (and I really don’t want them to be), then hopefully the Coalition of the Damned poll at the next election so appallingly that they can’t cobble a government together even with NZ First. That would give NZF no option but to go with National, or spend another 3 years in purgatory, somewhat defanging Winston in his “bottom lines”.

  • Monty

    Can anyone comment on the state of winstons health? Fifty year of heavy drinking and smoking and he doesn’t look like the type who does regular exercise. Something has to give at some point. I see very few people who survive into old age if they are heavy drinking smoking living individuals.

    I thought Winnie did look a tad sallow Lohengrin I saw on on to a few days ago