TRP Adviser 21 July 2017

This week we learned many things.

The Greens are not 100% pure, the NZ Labour Party has woken from its slumbers and, sorry, Shane, NZ First is still a one-man band.

Metiria Turei’s announcement that she bent the benefit rules was not in itself a particularly shocking revelation. I mean, who hasn’t indulged in some creative accounting, some under the table tax avoidance or some pilfered office supplies?

Paula Bennett, that’s who!

Yes, it turns out that the Sainted Paula led a life of bleak austerity and blind obedience while a beneficiary and it never so much as crossed her mind to forget a flatty or two, get into a relationship without applying for permission from WINZ or start her fledgling property portfolio without fudging the figures.

So those of you thinking that Turei’s mea culpa was actually aimed at embarrassing the Deputy Prime Minister a mere week after a Facebook poster was threatened with legal action for allegedly defaming her should be ashamed of yourselves. Ashamed I say!

The Labour Party has finally come up with a policy that genuinely challenges National. Pitching themselves as the party that will spend our tax dollars on health, education and families rather than tax cuts for the well-off is genius stuff.

Ok, it’s not Sanders or Corbyn level radicalism, but it makes it really simple for voters. If you care for your country, you’ll be voting Labour this election. If you are that self-centred that $20 off your top tier tax bill is more of a priority, then you’ll keep voting National as usual. You heartless bastard.

Well done Labour. More of this, please.

Welcome to NZ First, Shane Jones. Please take a seat at the back and stop talking. In fact, stop anything that resembles a sign of independent thought and just remember this is Winston’s Party and he’ll make up any damn policy he likes any time he likes.

Winston’s brain fart on holding a referendum on the maori seats has backfired beautifully. He’s had to back track on who might vote in the referendum, hinting that it might be just those on the maori roll who get to decide. Then flip flopping on that, because he belatedly realised that maori roll voters had already made up their mind.

Being on the maori roll is a conscious decision. Nobody already on that roll is going to vote to do away with the maori seats. Nobody.

Ok, Winston might gain a redneck vote or two by bashing maori, but he seems to have forgotten that he gets a fair few party votes from those seven seats. Maybe not so much now.

I guess he’ll still get the tick from Shane Jones, who is, ya know, actually on the maori roll. But the message to the newest Peters protégé is clear; you’re not even in my thoughts, big fulla.

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Problems with National and Labour fiscal policies

There’s one major problem with the National and Labour party fiscal policies that they are campaigning on – Winston Peters. Labour has a second but possibly lesser problem, the Green Party.

No matter what individual parties ‘promise’ to voters, what they try to deliver will be influenced probably by NZ First and possibly by the Greens, and both those parties have promised to spend a lot more than the two major parties.

Vernon Small: Peters’ demands the wild card in Labour’s carefully shuffled budget

But of course the sustainability of Labour’s draft budgets – when translated into coalition government reality – may be a different thing.

The Greens ought not to be a major threat to Labour’s plans if they are true to their signature on the Budget Responsibility Rules deal. Ironically, these cut in from election day, just as the memorandum of understanding between the two parties expires.

Ominously, there are rumblings of discontent within Labour about the Greens’ policy costings. Is this what Robertson was hinting at – although it could equally apply to NZ First – when he said, “as a party that wants to lead government it is our duty to be able to say to people ‘this is what we are planning and this is how we are going to pay for it’. That perhaps isn’t required of all parties …”?

But the biggest risk to Labour’s carefully laid fiscal groundwork will be NZ First. Its tertiary policy alone starts at $4.6 billion, by its own estimates.

Voters have to try to take into account what policies various coalition arrangements end up delivering.

To meet other demands, Labour has earmarked $878m next year – and a total of $9.9b over four years. That pool of cash will have to cover future new initiatives and Labour campaign promises as well as coalition agreements, augmented by a spot of “reprioritisation” from its own policies.

It is, if you like, where any fiscal plan runs smack into the cost of Winston’s bottom lines. And it is a problem National will also face – though with potentially more leverage – if it needs NZ First.

It’s one of the wicked ironies of MMP elections.

However hard Joyce and particularly Robertson work on fiscal responsibility, they stand to be judged as much on Peters’ spending – or at least how far they are prepared to curb it – as on their own carefully wrought budgets.

Fiscal campaign promises to voters fly out the window when coalition negotiations begin the day after the election. Promises to prospective coalition partners take over. That’s the reality of MMP.

In particular this year the fiscal policies followed by our next government are likely to be heavily influenced by NZ First demands, whether they end up in government or not.

And Peters typically hints at all sorts of things but won’t commit to anything, even his bottom lines seem to have some flexibility, so voters are left guessing.

Armstrong: Turei’s benefit fraud admission stinks

John Armstrong is scathing of Metiria Turei’s confession about benefit fraud, and also how she has handled it.

1 News: The timing of Metiria Turei’s benefit fraud admission stinks – as does her handling of it

Those standing alongside the Greens’ co-leader might like to ponder another possible motive for her coming clean about her past — one which has little to do with the debate surrounding benefit policy and social deprivation.

Turei has made little secret of her ambition to be in charge of the Social Development portfolio in a Labour-Greens coalition government.

Were she to become Social Development minister following September’s election and had she not disclosed her misleading of Work and Income, the Social Development ministry’s operational arm, the prime minister (whoever that might yet turn out to be) would have no choice but to sack her were those indiscretions to have become public.

Her honesty would be refreshing were the timing not just a few weeks out from an election. That stinks – as does the manner in which she has handled the matter.

It is difficult to reach a fair conclusion when it comes to casting moral judgment on her behaviour.

Harsh, but Armstrong has a point.

Even now it would be difficult for Turei to take on the Social Development portfolio if there is a possible investigation of her outstanding.

If she became minister would she condemn anyone else doing what she did, or would she signal that it is ok if the benefit recipient felt they needed it?

Turei has volunteered little information.

She has said she and her child lived in five different flats with various people while she completed her law degree. In three of those flats, she had extra flatmates who paid rent. She did not inform Work and Income for fear of her benefit being cut.

Her obvious reluctance to provide more detail is nothing short of a disgrace. It is also very telling.

In the absence of more detail — most crucially how much money she received to which she was not entitled — it is incumbent on her as an MP to put things right — at least as much as can be done so.

She should have fessed up a lot earlier, apologised and paid back her best estimate of how much she owed to Work and Income.

There was probably never going to be a good time to sort it all out but Turei’s timing now does raise a number of questions.

To be fair to her, what she did during her time on the domestic purposes benefit cannot be undone. Moreover, everyone has done things they later regret.

There is sympathy for her past plight and respect for her efforts in pulling herself out of it. That is why other MPs from other parties have been very careful not to be seen to be knocking her.

The absence of outcry from political quarters, however, assists her case that she was the victim of a harsh welfare regime.

Blaming the system for her cheating of the system enables her to absolve herself of all responsibility for her misleading the system.

It allows her to play the martyr. But she is doing so in a manner which cuts right across another responsibility — that as an MP she set the best example possible.

Saying that she will only pay the money back if Work and Income demands it hardly fulfils that obligation.

She has ignored the politics of gesture. That can reap big dividends. In refusing to make the right gesture, she has foregone an opportunity to redeem herself.

That shows extremely poor political judgement on her part. But it gets worse.

She endeavoured to turn her breach of the law into a launching pad for her party’s welfare policy. That is audacious. It is also the height of arrogance. It is also to enter very dangerous territory. It implies you are above the law. It says it is okay to break the law in order to try and change it.

It is hard to imagine how someone with Turei’s political experience could be employing an election strategy as flawed as the one she is running.

It is becoming even harder to understand why her colleagues are still giving her such free rein to keep doing so.

They aren’t into the old school politics that Armstrong worked with.

Again, this is harsh from Armstrong, but it doesn’t seem unfair to me.

Bradbury’s Green flip flop

Martyn Bradbury is likely to pick the winner of this year’s election – he is picking some many things one of them is likely to turn out to be close to correct.

Last week he was flipped out on a Green depressive: Can you actually trust voting for Greens after they rule out working with Labour/NZ First?

We accept Green voters think they are better than everyone else, but to just rule out working with anyone to change the Government shows their precious values up for what they actually are, selfishness wrapped in middle class snobbery.

What the Greens are saying is that they will send NZ back to the polls post the 2017 election.

The insanity of this is beyond comprehension.

The question now must be asked of everyone who wants this bloody Government gone, can you really risk voting Green if they are ruling themselves out of changing the Government?

If you want a change of Government the only political parties to party vote for this year are Labour and MANA because the Greens are openly stating they won’t support a NZ First-Labour minority Government.

The Greens are now a middle class party with middle class values and their preference for purity rather than pragmatism means they are simply not ready to be part of a Government.

This week he has flopped to mania: Greens smash Winston out of the park:

The enormity off what the Greens are suggesting in terms of combating our neoliberal welfare state takes a moment to sink in.

It is brave, courageous and ultimately problem solving the brutality of the state on beneficiaries by lifting rates and dumping moral obligations. Metiria’s admission that she had to play the system to survive gives her position validity and true leadership. Those attempting to claim she should be prosecuted are wilfully missing the far bigger picture of poverty and inequality.

This Green policy is a real way to combat poverty. The way this Government have punitively treated beneficiaries I believe has led directly to the surge in homelessness, overcrowding, poverty diseases, crime, suicide and mental health crisis. Green policy would make an immediate difference in the lives of the poorest amongst us and make a stand for a compassionate NZ.

It has vision, it has strength and it was bloody smart politics. Labour are too frightened to do this and the Greens are making a real play for the beneficiary vote (who are 14% of the electorate) that no one has bothered to court openly before.

How completely irrelevant to the reality of most NZers right now Winston. Making our democracy less representative is  not the way we build the future you tired old grump, Winston managed in one conference to show how stale and worn out his ideas sound.

Metiria and the Greens were the real winners today. They showed courage, boldness and a true passion to stand up for the weakest amongst us.

This has given me a reason to enrol.

So from slamming the Greens for not wanting to back NZ First in a coalition he has swung to an anti-NZ First Green Party love affair.

The political winds will likely blow in a different direction next week – Bradbury is politically as reliable as Peters.

A shock cock can be right at one point in an election campaign.

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:

apteryxmantelli:

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.

kaynetoad:

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.

POGO_POGO_POGO_POGO:

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.

LordHussyPants:

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.

kiwithopter:

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.

blekkja:

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%.

“Green Party will lift families out of poverty”

Policy announced by green co-leader Metiria Turei today:—

The Green Party has released a plan today to ensure no New Zealander will live in poverty, whether they are working or on a benefit.

The families package, announced today at the Party’s AGM, will increase all benefits by 20 percent, boost Working For Families and raise the minimum wage. It will lift the incomes of more than 500,000 low and middle income Kiwi families. It also removes all financial penalties and excessive sanctions that beneficiaries currently face.

Tax reform will ensure everyone who earns less than $150,000 a year is better off, by reducing the bottom tax rate to 9 percent and putting in place a new top tax rate of 40 percent on income over $150,000.

“These are the most significant changes to our welfare system in a generation,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“Our plan will lift people out of poverty and guarantee a basic, liveable income for anyone working or on a benefit.

“These changes will make a huge difference to the 190,000 thousand Kiwi kids whose families rely on a benefit to get by, and to all working families struggling to make ends meet.

“We will end the punitive culture at MSD, which punishes people through benefit sanctions, abatements and investigations. Rather than providing people with ‘incentives’, it traps them in a cycle of poverty and puts children’s wellbeing at risk.

“We believe that poverty should never be used as a weapon, especially when children are involved.

“Our plan to mend the safety net will ensure that all families in New Zealand can afford to put food on the table, keep a roof over their head and pay their power bill.

“Working For Families has been slowly undermined after nine years of National, and our plan will help low income families, by increasing the value of Working For Families and lowering the bottom tax rate.

“Our social safety net should provide effective support for people who need it, while they need it. The Green Party in government will make this a priority,” said Mrs Turei.

Outcomes of the welfare, Working for Families, and tax reform package include:

  • A sole parent on a benefit, with two school-age children, and no paid employment: $179.62 better off every week.
  • A sole parent receiving the Student Allowance, with two children, and part time work on just above minimum wage: $176.15 better off every week.
  • A single person receiving Jobseeker support: $42.20 better off every week.
  • A two parent family, with one working parent on the median income, with three children: $104.42 better off every week.
  • Two parents, both receiving Jobseeker support, with three children: $207.46 better off every week.
  • A two parent family, both earning the median income of 48,000, with three children: $130.19 better off every week.
  • Two parents, one in paid work earning $70,000 a year, with two children: $87.85 better off every week.

Green Party Family Incomes Full Policy

Green Party Family Incomes Policy Overview 

Also Mending the Safety Net – Metiria Turei’s speech to the Green Party 2017 AGM


Fiscal impact:

Modelling assuming National’s ‘families package’ does not take effect:

  • Total cost of “fixing benefits and Working for Families” – $1.468 million
  • Tax reform a small net positive fiscal impact – $163.4 million
  • Reducing WINZ’s spending on investigating beneficiaries – save $35 million

No costing on the possible impact of more people choosing not to work and live off a benefit.

No costing on increasing the minimum wage.

They will remove all obligations and sanctions “that create an excessive burden on people”. So it will be a no questions asked benefit policy?

Green options

Bryce Edwards suggests four options for the Green Party in The Greens go nuclear – and other options: (but he misses another option).

Greens option #1: Go nuclear

Green MP Barry Coates has spilt the beans about the fact that the Greens are considering making the threat to pull the plug on a Labour-NZ First government and refusing to provide their votes in Parliament to allow a minority government to govern.

According to Patrick Gower, the revelation from Coates “has shown the Greens are ready to enter a high-stakes game of political chicken with Peters. James Shaw has tried to hose this down but hasn’t actually ruled this out – that’s because it is pretty much the Greens’ only option. The problem is, it doesn’t exactly make the Labour-Green-NZ First combination look stable. In fact, Winston Peters is suddenly looking more stable than the Greens” – see: Green Party’s ‘nuclear’ election threat shows fear of Winston.

This is all very extreme, Gower says: “It is an extreme call that demonstrates the extreme fear the Greens have of Winston. It shows us they are panicked by the current rise of Peters. It also shows us that the Greens don’t trust New Zealand First. But more importantly, it shows us the Greens don’t trust Labour.”

They should be wary of what both NZ First and Labour might do. They are competing for votes with Labour in particular. They have a problem in needing Labour to get them into power.

Greens option #2: Appeal for more votes in order to counter NZ First

They will obviously want to “appeal for more votes” regardless – that’s kind the aim of contesting an election.

The Greens’ ideal scenario is one in which the New Zealand First vote collapses and the Greens shift well ahead of them to maintain their position as the third biggest party. In that situation, Labour might not need Winston Peters, or in any case it would be even more difficult to push the Greens aside.

The Greens seem to have decided to go hard against their rival party, and to use the strategy they think might best damage New Zealand First – challenge their progressive credentials, especially in terms of racism.

It’s not appealing for votes that will counter NZ First. Greens seem to have chosen to highlight negatives for NZ First to deter people from voting for them. Negative campaigning is supposed to be not the Green way, but they are very negative about National.

So this isn’t appealing for more votes for themselves, it’s appealing to voters not to support other parties.

This is just standard campaigning – the aim is always more votes for them, less votes for others.

Greens option #3: The crossbenches

The Greens seem hell-bent on getting Cabinet roles under a Labour-led government. But given that minor parties normally suffer from being involved in coalition governments, shouldn’t the Greens relish the chance to avoid the fate of every other minor party that has been punished after taking Cabinet positions?

I argued in a previous column, Have the Greens gone too far, or not far enough? that the Greens would probably be better off and possibly more influential if they stayed out of government and remained on the crossbenches: “that is possibly the answer to the Greens’ current dilemma – commit to being on the cross-benches, supporting a Labour-led government, on a case-by-case policy basis. That seems to be a potentially powerful place for minor parties to exist, flourish, and have plenty of influence. The problem for the Green MPs, however, is this way you don’t get the Cabinet positions and baubles of office for yourself.”

The Greens have made it clear they won’t enable a National government from the cross benches so this is only an option if they support Labour+NZ First from outside government. They have made it clear that this is not something they want to do.

It would be particularly hard if Labour’s vote shrinks and NZ First’s grows.

Would Greens support Winston Peters as Prime Minister, either as a part of a tri-party coalition or from the cross benches? That would be very hard for them.

Greens option #4: Negotiate with National

In theory, if the Greens are left out of government by Labour and New Zealand First, they could still negotiate a better deal with National. And, although the Greens have seemingly closed off the option of working with National, they haven’t categorically ruled out supporting a National-led government.

They seem to have all but ruled out enabling and supporting a National-led government in any way.

This option is surely only a bargaining position, as it would be an extreme high-risk move in reality. The history of such bold political realignments suggests that it would work, but only once, and at great cost. The massive internal Green ructions following a decision to prop up National would likely destroy or severely damage the party before any tangible benefits would be realised.

But having virtually ruled out helping National the Greens don’t have much of a bargaining position, it’s accept what Labour give them or nothing.

Their only way of increasing their bargaining is increasing their share of the vote relative to Labour and especially relative to NZ First. Which means seeking as many votes as possible, which is what all parties try to do, that’s the key to MMP.

Another Green option – setting themselves up for the future

I think the Greens actually have two key options – doing everything they can to get whatever they can out of this election (which may be only crumbs from Labour if NZ First allow it).

Alternately they could look to the future, in particular positioning themselves to benefit as much as possible from what may be a very messy term whether National or Labour lead the next government in coalition with NZ First.

This means going for broke for themselves and competing as hard as possible with votes from all the other parties, including Labour.

And this could include changing past practice and trying to win some electorates. More on that in the next post.

See How many electorates will Greens contest?

 

The Nation – Metiria Turei

Green co-leader Metiria Turei will be interviewed on The Nation this morning (9:30 am on TV3).

Greens are having their conference this weekend but oddly it doesn’t seem to be mentioned on their website. It isn’t under ‘Events’. I can’t find it on their Facebook page either. Aren’t the Greens supposed to be good at doing social media?


Metiria begins by stating that some of what Peters has said has been racist.

She says she has put a great deal of consideration into attacking NZ First.

She says she has developed a position like this with her caucus and her party over “probably 2 to 3 weeks”. She advised Labour prior to making her speech the week beforehand.

On Barry Coates – caucus has talked about her speech, but never had a conversation about forcing another election. She says that Coates was ‘misinterpreted’.

She says if Labour went with NZ First and left the greens out they would support on confidence and supply and seek policy concessions. This confirms a weak position for them.

On not accepting ‘an inferior deal’ – a confidence and supply deal rather than being part of a coalition would depend on what was negotiated.

She keeps referring to the need for getting as many votes as possible to give them as much negotiating power as possible – that’s what all parties aim for.

Getting more votes than NZ First is a crucial target for the Greens.

Would she be prepared to be in a government with Peters as deputy PM? “That would depend”, but not so keen on PM. Also “I’d certainly serve in a government with Winston Peters”.

She refers to ‘I’ and ‘my people’ a bit, as well as ‘we’ and ‘us’.

“Labour is you problem too”. Diverts to votes, votes, votes for Greens. Have to talk to Labour about their problems (she doesn’t try to argue against Labour problems).

A Greens versus NZ First weekend

The Green Party and NZ First have clashed through the week, sparked by accusations against NZ First of racism from Metiria Turei last Sunday, both in an interview on Q+A and in a speech at the Green Party campaign launch.  There was tit for tat between the parties through the week.

It is set to continue this weekend with both parties having their annual conferences/congresses/whatever you want to call this week’s self promotion.

Journalists are already priming the competition for airtime.

Audrey Young:  New Zealand First party leader Winston Peters: How the Kingmaker could become PM

Winston Peters is shaping as the man who will choose our next Prime Minister – again. At 72, the kingmaker of New Zealand politics could make a final play to snare the top job for himself, writes Audrey Young.

When Winston Peters warned Green co-leader Metiria Turei that there would be consequences for her calling New Zealand First racist, history would suggest he meant it.

And history, as they say, is the best predictor of future behaviour.

Peters’ party had almost completed its coalition negotiations with National in 1996 but there were two outstanding issues.

The first: Peters wanted an apology from Prime Minister Jim Bolger for having repeatedly called him racist.

Would Turei apologise to Peters in order to form a Labour/Green/NZ First coalition? Probably not this weekend.

The second: What job Peters would get in a coalition Government. He wanted Prime Minister.

This could depend on the numbers. Would National be happy to give Peters the top job? the second top job? At 40% to 10% it seems unlikely, but what if it’s 35% to 15% or 20%?

Whether the “consequences” for Turei would be more severe than having to bury the hatchet in a whiskey session with Peters remains to be seen. Regardless, this election is shaping as the third time in 21 years that New Zealand First will hold the balance of power.

Maybe. As I recall media have predicted this every election for yonks. Twice in 18 years (6 terms) is not a high success rate.

Weird as it seems, Metiria Turei’s comments about New Zealand First were part of a strategy to try to strengthen the Green Party’s hand after the election.

It is more likely to have weakened both parties’ hands.

Stacey Kirk:  Swiping on the Green warpaint: the Greens go head-to-head with an old foe

They’ve spent a week baiting NZ First, but don’t think Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei’s lobbing of the word “racism” to Winston Peters wasn’t deliberate.

As the Greens gather for their election-year annual conference in Auckland this weekend, rank and file will be keen to dispel the ghosts of 2014.

Co-leaders Turei and James Shaw will be determined not to let the same thing happen again. To that end, the party’s annual conference is likely to be a tub-thumping affair, and may even call to traditional Green roots that in recent years have been actively played down.

Peters was understandably rankled, threatening unnamed “consequences”. It doesn’t take much to recall the post-election events of 2005 where Labour shunned the Greens at Peters’ demand, to form a third-term Government.

But the two parties will be competing for airtime as their conferences clash this weekend. And throughout the course of the election the parties will continue to vie for strengthened hands.

This may be the last shot at government and Prime Minister for Peters.

It may also be a last shot at government for Turei. She has been an MP in Opposition for 15 years (since 1972) and party co-leader for eight years, and if she fails this election she – and the Greens – may decide that a different co-leader is necessary.

Two polls were published yesterday:

  • Greens 13% (UMR), 13.5% (Roy Morgan)
  • NZ First 14% (UMR), 8% (Roy Morgan)

They are both desperate to be the third polling party on election day. This will provide important bragging rights and may influence relative power in any coalition negotiations.

Turei and Shaw seem to be playing ‘bad cop, good cop’ with Shaw trying to smooth over the slip by Barry Coates in saying out loud that Greens may force another election rather than support a Labour-NZ First government.

Turei led and continued the stoush with NZ First, and looks set to continue, speaking for the Greens on The Nation this morning (as is Peters).

It could be an interesting weekend with both Peters and Turei trying to claim the ascendancy.

 

Part of a UMR poll

A bizarre news report from Newshub – they have reported on a leaked UMR poll (Labour’s internal pollster) but have only given some of the results Updated with more details):

  • National 42% (previous 6 results 43, 43, 42, 44, 42, 43)
  • Labour 26% (previous 6 results 28, 28, 34, 30, 32, 29)
  • NZ First 14% (previous 6 results 12, 12, 9, 9, 9, 11)
  • Greens 13% (previous 6 results 13, 12, 13, 13, 13, 12)

The story was about how bad it was for Labour, but this is similar to the Colmar Brunton poll where they were 27% – see The actual Colmar Brunton poll results.

Greens are not out of the ordinary on 13%, they were 11 in the Colmar poll.

What will put a shiver up the spine of other parties and many voters is the NZ First result, 14% (Colmar was 11%) – this is a big rise for them.

And not mentioned either – these three parties total 53% so National must be well below the 47% of Colmar, which should be a concern for them. Perhaps Patrick Gower is saving that for another story.

UPDATE – online now:  Labour’s confidential polling leaked

This has more details, including National:

  • National 42%
  • Labour 26% (34% in May)
  • NZ First 14% (9% in May)
  • Greens 13%

They don’t state the movement for National and Greens, but that is an alarming result for National.

But they have this graphic:

Oddly National have been in the low forties since March. They have not been consistently that low in any other poll.

And for Labour the drop isn’t that dramatic, the 34% in May looks like an outlier.