Could Winston lead a government with National?

This is a question many in the National Caucus have been asking themselves, and seeking counsel on. Someone cunning from NZ First has posed the question:

What would happen if Winston was offer the Prime Ministers position by Labour, and he told National he would go with Labour if National didn’t make the same offer?

The initial reaction is that National would not do the deal because they are the bigger party and NZ First cannot insist on Winston being the Prime Minister.  

The problem is that National caucus members are starting to get nervous about stories that Winston will be able to send them into opposition if he is not Prime Minister. This is despite the best efforts of Bill English to tell the backbench they are better to stick with him.

This poses National very real problems. If National went into opposition all the senior MPs would lose their positions, and likely leave parliament, meaning a big step up for all the juniors.

So the senior MPs will want to stay on as ministers at all costs, and if this means Winston is PM that will be alright by them. Bill English doesn’t really have a faction of supporters who will fight his corner, especially if it means that they lose their ministerial portfolios and National goes into opposition. The backbenchers are restless and they view opposition or a diminished Bill English as a way to get the old tuskers out of their way.

Winston is a cunning, cunning bastard and he will have worked this out before he goes into coalition negotiations. He will know he can play one side off against the other, and get what he wants because Labour are desperate to get into government, and National’s senior people are desperate to stay in government.

Post election negotiations are going to be a good spectator sport once Winston comes back from his post election fishing trip.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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