Greens-Influenced Govt Likely?


Tonight’s 3News political poll raises for the first time seriously, the possibility that a re-elected National government in November would turn to the Greens for some sort of supporting compromise.

That would be good news for public transport followers as Greens’ Gareth Hughes and other MPs have been consistently and solidly campaigning on issues such as the Auckland CBD Rail Link, topics on which Labour has been largely invisible or ineffective.

Greens MP David Clendon campaigning for provincial rail

This is a rare election year in which people will have made up their mind many months ahead, short of some unexpected major government scandal or unpopular policy shift.

The 3 News Reid Research poll continues National’s upward trend as we head to a period in which political news itself will take very much a back seat to the media coverage and mass public obsession about the Rugby World Cup.

Traditionally the public euphoria of any All Black success would boost the Government’s chances even further.

Labour continues its slow Titanic submerging to the bottom of the ocean - down 2.9 points to 29.9% and Goff rating only 6.9% compared to Key’s 50% in personal popularity. Goff’s star policy of a Capital Gains Tax has been typically bungled by the Labour machine by not announcing the details officially until next Thursday by which time Key has delivered endless soundbites about how a vote for Labour means higher taxes. We all know Labour is stuffed under Goff. The poll numbers tonight again confirm that with 49% thinking Goff is doing a bad job. There is no suitable successor-in-waiting this close to an election.

What’s happening around the fringes of tonight’s poll result is the really fascinating part.

Around three per cent of Labour’s erosion has moved directly to the Greens, up 2.6 points in the poll to 9.1% - the highest ever Greens’ rating in this particular firm’s poll (which was consdered the most reliably accurate in the last election).

ACT, National’s coalition partner is back to where it was when Dr Don Brash moved in. At a sad 1.7%, ACT’s rating shows the Brash takeover hasn’t worked.

We have yet to have any real indication whether former Auckland Mayor John Banks can help return the same number of list MPs as Hide if he wins Epsom for ACT. That’s a seat that this time around may have a credible National candidate standing against him - possibly ironically one of his own former Councillors in the C&R team, the effective and well-liked Aaron Bhatnagar who has put his hat in the National candidate selection ring.

Brash has failed to get the momentum he predicted and the resignation of his advertising guru after controversy over an anti-Maori advertisement at the weekend adds to his perception problems.

Winston lingers at 2.2% and has to now share the anti-racial rhetoric with Brash. Maori’s philosophical split is showing damage as the Maori party has just 0.8% and Hone has 0.7%. National can no longer rely on the same number of seats being returned for Maori.

While polls collectively give no doubt to National’s comfortable re-election, MMP dictates that Key has to be looking for a coalition partner to at least guarantee confidence and supply.

He may have to turn to the Greens and make more policy compromises than home insulation than were made during the present parliament.

If only that involved agreeing to some of the Greens’ transport philosophy. Hey, dreams are free.

The recent Greens conference gave very guarded cautious support for considering some sort of alliance with a future National Government but the suggestion of it being an actual coalition was considered too controversial for some in the party faithful.

In recent days, co-leader Dr Russel Norman, wearing a smart suit, with a handle on economics and talking once again about a green economy, not the past Green hippie mantra of dope reform, said he would expect at least a finance portfolio in any Labour-Greens coalition.

There are people far more qualified than me to make sense of this all. As a mere observer, who is passionate about transport matters, I am intrigued with the way the poker game cards are falling.





  1. George D says:

    I think you’re a little too negative on Labour’s chances. I pick a margin of less than 5% for whoever forms the next govt.

    I also think that National would have nothing to do with the Greens.

  2. geoff_184 says:

    Wellington has a Greens mayor, but she hasn’t even started to get the ball rolling on her promised light rail scheme. They talk the talk, but do they walk the walk?

  3. rtc says:

    and the Greens would have nothing to do with National, it would be political suicide to support them.

  4. Matt says:

    George, I think you’re right that it’s going to be close, but I also think you’ve got things the wrong way around in the second paragraph. If Joyce remains the Minister of Trucks, the Greens will have nothing to do with National.
    The Greens’ leadership have said that National will have to make a lot of concessions to get Greens support, and I just can’t see those concessions being made.

  5. Matt T says:

    “Traditionally the public euphoria of any All Black success would boost the Government’s chances even further.”

    Go the Wallabies!!!!

  6. Matt says:

    Matt T, quite.
    I’m awfully torn between patriotic support for the AB’s and a desire for them to crash and burn because of the anecdotal evidence that such an occurrence will be bad for National come the election.

  7. KarlHansen says:

    I too think that the Greens supporting the Nats in any way would be poison for their long-term chances (look at the Maori Party…), unless the Nats gave them significant concessions on transport, social policy and our future energy policy.

    Which is unlikely, to say the least.

  8. Linz says:

    A point on Aaron Bhatnager - not a serious candidate for the Nats. His nomination is actually in support of his close friend, mentor and ally, John Banks. The Nats want Banks to win for strategic reasons and Bhatnagar (or possibly another Banks acolyte Paul Goldsmith) will work for the party vote only and will effectively be working behind the scenes to get Banks elected, just as he was Banks’ campaign manager for the mayoral election. His reward will be a safe winnable seat in a future election or possibly a high list placing.

  9. Anthony says:

    Unless the Greens have a really, really long sharp barge pole, i wouldn’t go anywhere near them after National (like Karl said) posioned he Maori Party.

  10. George D says:

    “Go the Wallabies!!!!”

    Allez le bleus!

  11. Pickle says:

    Without trying to sound cruel. The only way Labour has any hope is if the All Blacks lose. Having said the Herald puts Labour on around 36% and National on around 50%, so I wouldn’t say its all over yet.


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