Winston wants an early election too

Winston Peters is a cunning old rooster. He knows when Labour is on the rocks and that he can take advantage of it.

That is why he is calling for an early election. NBR reports:

Winston Peters believes there will be an early election.

The New Zealand First leader came out of his party conference at the weekend breathing righteous fury down his nostrils and talking about keeping the two “old parties” accountable in any new Parliament.

This publication last week floated the possibility of an early election: one columnist arguing it should happen, preferably by the end of this year and the other arguing against the proposition.

Mr Peters says he expects an early election but not late this year – he is picking sometime early in 2017.

Bring it, I say.

Mr Key has now formally ruled that out, saying he “expects” the election to be sometime in the second half of 2017. Mr Key has previously said he prefers general elections “around” September as they give governments time to come back and start their programme before the Christmas break.

But the New Zealand First leader’s comments about keeping National and Labour accountable provide him maximum wiggle room during any post-general election talks – whenever that happens.  As is usual,  he is not rising to any invitations  to say whether he prefers to support a National or Labour Party-led government.

A third option which has not been sufficiently explored in public is if Mr Peters keeps New Zealand First out of government but on the crossbenches of Parliament,  forcing whoever has to form a minority government to come to him on bended knee every time it wants to pass any significant legislation. That will keep the focus semi-permanently on Mr Peters.

And Mr Peters’ longer term aim seems to be to attract the votes of those who are missing out on what is, in aggregate, a period of reasonably strong economic growth. The message from his conference was the main parties are elitist and big-city groupings who do not understand or care for the large number of New Zealanders outside those main cities.


Winston is a political opportunist, he sniffs an opportunity.



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