We’ve all seen the polls with National leaping out in front – and over that magical 50% mark.
Helen Clark may be saying the poll gap will close once National’s policies are known but there’s another more mundane reason to expect those heady highs to fall. Kiwis don’t like to see a party head toward sole, majority power. In 2002, when Labour polled over 50% the spectre of Labour governing was enough to send vote adrift.
And so the speculation turns to the situation National now finds itself in. Who will be their coalition partner? Pita Sharples rides in to the rescue. As highlighted by John Armstrong when commenting on National Radio on Sunday’s Marae-DigiPoll survey, the Maori Party co-leader initially said the findings made it “easy” for his party to go into some kind of governing arrangement with National after the election (audio below).
This isn’t the first time those two parties’ names have been linked. Tariana indicated back in 2005 that they could work together:
Turia: “Should National get in, our people would expect us to be constructive in the way we worked with them.”
And it’s not just National who could benefit. Such an alliance could be good news for ACT. Though I suspect there will be quite a few with firmly right wing views for whom the spectre of National and the Maori party is too much.