Today we will get the final election counts. It will now include the estimated special declaration vote of 567,000 (20.2% of the vote) to count including and estimated 80,000 overseas and dictation votes. This can change the precise balance in parliament and in electorate seats with small margins. The provisional results had the NAct coalition teetering on a majority. Including the specials is likely to teeter them to need another coalition partner or a confidence and supply agreement to secure a reliable majority.
NZ First appears to be the most likely partner for NAct. It is hard to see any other party that National would try to do a coalition or confidence and supply arrangement with.
Problem is that Act and NZ First are not exactly political buddies and have no history of working together. It is likely that NZ First effectively excluded Act from the governing coalition in 1996.
The last time that National were in a coalition with NZ First was in 1996-1998. 1998 was when the National PM Jenny Shipley sacked Winston Peters and then appeared to have engineered or at least taken advantage of a split inside NZ First. Since then National and Act have spent decades vilifying NZ First, most notably in 2008 when Act brought a parliamentary privileges action against NZ First over donations by Owen Glenn.
This political history matters. It is evident to anyone who has read social media over decades that National and Act members as well as MPs regard Winston Peters and NZ First as being some epitome of terrible politics for them – especially after each time they went into a coalition with Labour. I have had decades of cleaning out defamatory and false statements of fact in comment from this site.
This all points a problematic coalition arrangement even before you start looking at grand-standing pre-election statements by Act leader David Seymour.
The talent in the National caucus isn’t exactly experienced nor particularly competent at based on their pre-election screwups. It will be the most inexperienced lineup that National has ever put into government.
Their leader is about to become a second term MP with no experience of being a minister of the crown. The deputy is about to become third term MP with no ministerial experience. Their front-bench lineup is filled with a few of the more incompetent ministerial talent of the Key governments like Judith Collins (dumped by John Key as minister multiple times), and Gerry Brownlee who was never notable for his competence even before trying to rebuild Christchurch.
I suspect we are going to have several weeks of chaos getting a governing coalition followed by a coalition that will be the epitome of incompetent chaos and infighting. It will be great for a political blog of the left. Not that good for the country.
Evidently I am not alone in this view. In a September poll.
The Taxpayers’ Union-Curia poll asked voters “Which potential coalition of parties do you think would be more chaotic?”.
Forty per cent said National-Act-NZ First was the most chaotic, while 35 per cent thought Labour-Green Te Pati Māori were more chaotic.
Fourteen per cent of people thought both were equally chaotic.
Women were slightly more likely than men to think National would lead the more chaotic coalition, splitting 44-35 in favour of National.
Men were more evenly split, dividing 37-35 in favour of National being the most chaotic.NZ Herald: “Election 2023: Voters think National-Act-NZ First is a ‘coalition of chaos’ – poll“