May 18, 2008
Can Labour Afford Not To Turn Guns On NZ First?
One interesting aspect of the latest Fairfax poll is the vote that Labour seems to have lost to NZ First. It would appear that NZ First were the difference between Labour being 29% or 31%. Psychologically this difference is much bigger than the 2% of voters. It is also going to mean that, depending on the make-up of the Labour list, that 3 sitting MPs will miss out for the sake of NZ First making it back (should NZ First not make the 5% threshold - or win some seats - its votes will be redistributed according to the share of vote achieved by the parties that do make it back. This will mean that Labour and National will both benefit with more MPs than they would have received simply from their Party vote). This is why we have some people on both sides of the house being prepared to talk privately anyway of the importance of killing NZ First off once and for all. Labour has a wealth of Winston stories up its sleeves. It seems increasingly clear that the prospect of being in a post election coalition negotiation is wishful thinking. Survival of the party is now the major concern. So NZ First is moving from potential important ally status to serious threat to survival status. We expect some cuddling up in the next few days as Parker fights for his political survival over the biofuels and EMS bills, but once that issue is out of the way expect the distancing to begin.