The Dim Post's Danyl Mclauchlan blogs:
Imagine you’re part of Labour’s infamous Anyone But Cunliffe faction, and Labour manages to form a coalition with the aforementioned parties after the September election. That’s going to be a government that is (a) unpopular – the Venn diagram of voters that have positive or neutral attitudes towards all five of those parties is damn close to an empty set; it will also (b) probably be highly unstable, and (c) be a government with intense competition for Cabinet seats, so ABC faction members are likely to miss out on them. So you’re facing the prospect of three years as a backbencher followed by a crushing election defeat followed by six to nine years of a subsequent National government. If you’re Phil Goff or Trevor Mallard that’s the rest of your career.
On the other hand, if Labour loses the election because, hypothetically, Labour wins Te Tai Tokerau and all of the Internet/Mana party votes get wasted, the most probable outcomes are (a) Cunliffe resigns and your faction retakes control of the Labour Party, (b) National forms a coalition with New Zealand First which will also be a weak and unstable government, and you get to run the country in three years time.
The ABCs are right though. A Labour-Green-Winston-Mana-Dotcom Government will be unstable and unpopular. Two of the five parties will owe their places in Parliament to Dotcom, and if the court finds he is eligible for extradition – well they’ll be hopelessly compromised. They’ll last one term (if that) and then have a long spell in opposition.
Danyl is also right that it is unlikely that a National/NZ First Government would be stable or strong, let alone get a fourth term. Of course on most polls National can govern without NZ First – but there is still 108 days to go.
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Political commentator David Farrar posts at Kiwiblog.