Matthew Hooton has no love for Winston Peters…once calling him a word that is no longer used on this blog, on television.
The left is in despair.
Eminent left-wing scribe Chris Trotter says the election is “all over bar the counting.” He fears a collapse in both turnout and Labour’s support, humiliating David Cunliffe and resulting in an “unparalleled National victory” for John Key.
From his comrades’ perspective, he is undoubtedly too curmudgeonly.
With the exception of 1999, all MMP elections have gone to the wire.
Even in the weeks before Bill English’s nadir in 2002, there was a mathematical possibility of a National/NZ First/UnitedFuture/Act coalition, limiting Helen Clark to one term.
In 2005, National’s Don Brash, along with the leaders of Act, UnitedFuture and the Maori Party, held talks with Winston Peters about forming a government but Mr Peters chose to give Ms Clark her third term.
More recently, Mr Key scraped home in both 2008 and 2011 by the narrowest of margins.
If Ms Clark hadn’t so slavishly backed Mr Peters through the 2008 Spencer Trust fiasco, she would have won a fourth term.
Similarly, only the go-slow by Mr Cunliffe and his supporters in the last weeks of the 2011 campaign stopped Phil Goff from making Mr Key a one-term prime minister.
If unemployment stays higher than forecast, wage rises are a bit lower, doubts emerge over the fiscal surplus and the official cash rate is closer to 4% than 3% in September, then the gap between National/Act/UnitedFuture and Labour/Green/Mana will narrow. Mr Peters will again decide who will be prime minister. Read more »