But the lead-up to the Labour conference this weekend shows only a real coalition will get Labour back into government. So far, so obvious.
But it doesn’t appear so obvious. Labour has given no signal that it will give Greens accommodation in any electorate. Labour spokespeople like Shane Jones gleefully show their contempt for the Greens. Labour has replied very negatively to Green-Labour cabinet position proposals. Whereas National are far smarter than that and have a PM well schooled in sustaining coalitions no matter how smelly they get.
Has Cunliffe’s leadership just coated the cracks of Labour’s FPP culture with a thick white icing? Is Labour really capable of being as smart in pre-forming coalitions as National clearly is?
What is needed is a signal out of the Labour conference this weekend that Labour are truly ready for a deep, multi-term coalition with the Greens.
If Labour caucus can’t shift from the culture of The Thick of It to Borgen, National sure can. And with that goes the election, again.