This morning’s news from the Fairfax/Ipsos poll is that 81% of New Zealanders hate coat-tailing and want it gone. I agree with them. So does Labour. So do the Greens. So do Internet MANA. 1 National, of course, relishes coat-tailing. So – to the 81% – if you want 2014 to be the last election with any coat-tailing, vote for a change of government.
National already has deals with ACT and United Future which it (forlornly) hopes will bring in bonus right-leaning MPs on the coat-tails of their anointed victors in Epsom and Ohariu. And it is considering a further deal with Colin Craig’s Conservatives, something Craig has been almost begging them for over the last few months. Except now he has abruptly changed his mind:
Colin Craig launched his Conservative Party’s election campaign by assuming a strong moral stance — including ruling out any “bland and inspid cup of tea” electoral deal with National like the one used to keep Act in Parliament.
But while Mr Craig, who confirmed he will stand against Foreign Minister Murray McCully in East Coast Bays, said he would turn down a cup of tea with Prime Minister John Key to give him he nod in the electorate, it would help if National let him win the seat anyway.
So according to Craig, Key’s job is to give just him a seat, entirely of his own accord, with no “insipid” discussions about the quid pro quo. Good luck with that.
In order to give Craig the seat, Key has to hold a news conference announcing it, so that National voters in East Coast Bays will know what to do. If Craig hasn’t come to the table and thrashed out some kind of post-election deal, what kind of reason can Key give for pulling the rug out from under McCully? The Bolger play from Wellington Central in 1996 doesn’t work. Maybe he could go with “time for a change?”