Is a vote for Greens a vote for Labour?

An often asked question gets an airing on Reddit: For undecided left voters, Is it really going to matter whether people vote for the Greens or for Labour? Do Labour need all the help they can get, or is a vote for either a vote for the same team?

The vote on the right is pretty clear cut for people. National suits most right of centre voters, and if your opinions are a little more fringe then you’ve got Act.

The vote on the left has become a lot less centralised in Labour. I think it’s a smart move that the Greens and Labour are working together to change the government this election, but I imagine it could be a little confusing for undecided voters.

Some responses:


There are two things in play for me with that vote decision, assuming Labour are actually able to form a government following the election and thus start enacting legislation. Firstly, and obviously, the more votes the Greens get, the more of their policy proposals will get the time of day because there’s a world of difference between a party bringing 6 seats and a party bringing 20, so the more you like Green policy, the more likely you should be to vote Green.


On the other hand, if Winston says he’ll go with whichever major party gets the highest party vote (like he did in 2005), a vote for the Greens might undermine Labour’s chances and send NZF into bed with National.

A quite different scenario from SirNippleClamp:

In a perfect world I’d love Labour-Greens to form government with the support of National as a silent partner that votes on confidence and supply; send a message to NZ First voters that they’ll never have a say in government so they might as well stop wasting their time voting for the asshole aka Winston Peters in the first place.

Would national consider anything like that? Labour+Greens would need to get more vote than National for a start, and then National would need to agree.

Would Labour as ‘a silent partner’ for National. Greens have suggested they wouldn’t.


If you want to thwart NZ First then vote TOP. That would give National another option for a coalition, but at the same time not diminish the Left because if Labour + Greens do get enough votes then TOP will happily partner with them.


Depends on who wins the majority vote. If the Greens go into Parliament on 30% and Labour only hits 24%, then the Greens take the Prime Minister’s office and Labour might get the Deputy.

I’m voting Greens because I don’t like the way Labour’s been talking about stuff like immigration lately. Either vote is a vote for the same political bloc, but one for Greens is tipping the balance slightly more to the left, which I think results in a better New Zealand.

And if wakes up Labour and causes them to reevaluate how they’re going to campaign, then that’s a bonus, and maybe they get me back in 2020.


I’m thinking of voting for the Maori Party to reduce the chance that New Zealand First will be part of the government while still keeping the chance of a Labour-led government alive should the election result be very different from the polls.


For undecided left voters… do we even have a choice? Labour and Greens are both solidly centrist these days. Where is the real alternative? At least last time I thought I could count on Hone keeping his seat and so voted Mana… nothing for me this time.

A range of views there, showing that there are a range of possibilities.

A vote for Greens is effectively a vote for a Labour led Government, but the balance of power between Labour and the Greens is also important, especially to the parties.

So if you want a Labour-Green government it makes sense to vote for which of the two parties you want to increase their balance of power.

Labour on 40% and Greens on 10% would be a much different power ratio to Labour on 30% and Greens on 20%.

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  1. In the coalition world of bottom lines I think that Peters will NOT ago with Lab/Greens. The Lab/Greens cannot be separated unless Peters gets to mid 20s and Labour the same. That’s not possible because of the cannibalisation taking place within that particular triangle. Turei’s announcement of up to $180 per week for solos and tax hikes 33-40% to the over $150,000 group brought out the worst in Peters.

    “NZ First leader Winston Peters said Turei was speaking as though “she had just discovered poverty”.

    “Well, big deal, my family was born in a tent, and the first few family members were and know what it’s like to be flooded out and evacuated to the cowshed.””

    He doesn’t appreciate her bluntness and he’ll never forgive the public racist jab.

    I know that bottom lines are pretty flexible, but his bottom line declaration to take Māori seats to binding referendum wouldn’t be something the Greens would sign to would it?

    Of Greens and. NZ First, the only Party who’d offer supply support and stand aside while the other went into formal coalition has been the Greens. It very much looks like they’ve ruled that out this time AND they won’t work with the NAS so they’re very restricted on their options.

    My conclusion is Peters will deal with National with face saving deals on Immigration, Māori seat abolition. I see him (NZ First)taking Māori Affairs, Housing, Infrastructure, Dep. Leadership and start on setting up legacy-vanity projects such as the train north. It’ll be Gold Card on steroids.

  2. Zedd

     /  17th July 2017

    just answering the question.. “NO” as Ive said several times recently its MMP not FPP.
    The MOU between Labour-Greens expires on election day.. so anything is possible after that, even a radical change of Govt.? 🙂

    • PDB

       /  17th July 2017

      The Greens are even further left than Labour – a vote for them is a vote for total economic ruin whilst a Labour vote is a tick for partial economic ruin.

      Keep the downticks coming Zedd, nothing like supporting benefit fraud & ‘free’ money!

  3. Patzcuaro

     /  17th July 2017

    The problem for the opposition block is that the vote is fragmenting. At least with National you have a solid 42-46% giving greater certainty to what you will get if you vote for them. The smaller parties are able curtail any extremes that National may propose.


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