…Peters will only retire after he has fulfilled his ambition of one day being prime minister. It’s even said to have been put on the able in NZ First’s protracted negotiations to form a government in 1996.
Election night 2017 might be now or never for Peters, given he will be 72 by the time the next election rolls around.
Which is why the Labour-Greens cooperation agreement announced this week might be the game changer everyone is talking about, but not in the way they think.
Because it may bring Peters’ dream within his grasp.
It’s been 20 years since the first MMP election and while we think we’ve seen every permutation and political curveball it can throw at us, there’s still one scenario that has never been tested with the public.
That scenario is one in which the party with the biggest share of the popular vote is ousted by a coalition of smaller parties.
In the initial wash-up after the Labour-Greens announcement, everyone seemed in agreement on one thing – that it would push some soft Labour votes into NZ First’s arms.
National would be the ultimate beneficiary, the thinking goes, since Peters is actually utterly predictable when it comes to coalition negotiations, despite appearances to the contrary.
He has always gone with the party that wins the most votes on election night, and that includes the 1996 election, even if National was only ahead of Labour by a whisker and it took him six weeks to get there.
And the Greens and Labour combined will still not have more votes than National. Read more »