Bryce Edwards reveals the Green nuclear option is valid and in play

Bryce Edwards reports at NBR that the Green’s nuclear option is a valid strategy and one being spoken of openly, despite the assurances of James Shaw.

Barry Coates wasn’t so much talking out of turn when he said the Greens might threaten to force another election when faced with the prospect of a Labour-NZ First coalition as revealing his party’s post-election negotiating strategy.

So says political commentator Bryce Edwards, who tells NBR that Mr Coates is not the first Green MP to spill the beans.

“The Greens were always going to have to deal with the issue of the prospect of being locked out of a Labour-NZ First government,” Dr Edwards says.

And going nuclear by pulling their support has always been their only real leverage for negotiations, he adds.

One Green MP – not Barry Coates – informed me of this earlier in the year,” he says.

“The problem for the Greens has always been to keep this option quiet until after the election. They want the option in post-election coalition negotiations but don’t want potential Green voters to be aware that the party could well sink the chances of a change of government.”

But the cat’s out of the bag now, Dr Ewards says, “And it’s no longer plausible for the co-leaders to clamp down on any discussion on them using the nuclear option.”

The Greens have been shanked by Winston Peters before, and he would do it again in a heartbeat. He loathes the Greens and he would not want them anywhere near the levers of power.

The problem for any other option is that the numbers don’t add up. Labour plus NZ First can’t get there. Labour plus NZ First plus Greens is now a dead duck.

The only viable option for a stable government is now National and NZ First. All other options fail to muster the numbers.

“The big danger for the Greens is overplaying their hand and driving NZ First into coalition with National,” Dr Edwards says.

“The Greens are deluded if they think they can form a government without Peters. The chances of a Labour-Greens minority government with NZ First on cross benches are almost zero,” he says.

“Winston Peters will likely be in his last term not sit on the sidelines when he could be in government.”

At this stage, poll numbers indicate the Greens either have to work with NZ First and Labour or it will be a National-NZ First government, Dr Edwards says.

“The third option is that the Greens sit on the cross benches and support a Labour-NZ First government, which they are obviously trying to rule out.”

Yeah, nah…Greens have been the bridesmaid for too long and they really, really want power.

In making this overt play they have actually sunk any chances of a change of government.



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