The Colmar Brunton poll out last night has Labour on 47% and the Greens on 7%. NZ First on 1%. If those numbers roughly hold on election day, we are looking at a very good result for the left (all things considered, and obviously I’d prefer a higher Green vote).
Arden in response to the earlier Reid poll that had Labour on 51% said,
“I haven’t entertained this idea of governing alone or run through that hypothetical because that’s just not what MMP elections have delivered.”
“There’s no complacency on our side. We are seeking a strong mandate – that’s our view of how we will be able to deliver a strong recovery.”
I’m sure some of that is not counting Winston downfall chickens before they hatch (very wise), as well as acknowledging that Labour and the Greens have had a good working relationship since before the last election, and letting Labour’s pro MMP voters know what is what.
The Greens are likewise signalling their position. James Shaw on Morning Report, after the Colmar Brunton poll,
Green Party co-leader James Shaw told Morning Report any decisions abut what roles Green Party MPs could take in a future government depend on a number of factors.
“It depends on the numbers, it depends on the shape of the agreement that we’ve got, it depends on the extent to which we think it can help us to advance the programme of work that we have,” he said.
Good political work from the Greens in this interview. This is Shaw telling the country what we can expect from the Greens after the election, depending on the vote. It’s honest and open and means people know where they stand.
A vote for the Greens is a vote for a Labour-led goverment (National are ruled out).
Corin Dann pushes on the leverage issue (don’t the Greens have less leverage if National is ruled out?) to which Shaw says if people see leverage as important then they should give their party vote to the Greens. He also points out that leverage is only a part of negotiations, that relationship matters, and the Greens and Labour have that.
What stands out for me here is that regarding concern about small parties having too much influence, the Green position here is an acknowledgement that it’s not about the tail wagging the dog, or holding a position of force and 3 years of secret bottom lines that the electorate isn’t aware of (side eye Winston Peters). This is the MMP New Zealand has been waiting for, one of co-operation rather than power manipulation, and of openness and honesty.
Hence the Greens having top priorities rather than bottom lines. I think it’s clear from the past weeks that the Greens aren’t going to be a pushover either, and it’s skillful to hold that both/and position.
The Deputy PM role is potentially on the table, but it’s a role like other Ministerial ones where the Greens would be looking at whether it would help them advance the overall programme of work that they agree to with Labour, acknowledging the benefits and the constraints of the position.
(Shaw doesn’t mention this here but there’s also the reality that the Greens’ coalition position has to be okayed by the members).
There’s an important bit about what is happening with Tiwai. Anyone who thinks that the Green Party are anti-worker or don’t care about the economy needs to listen to what Shaw says here, where he emphases the need for a Just Transition rather than crashing the Southland economy, and that any financial support from the government needs to go to the people of Southland not Rio Tinto, a very profitable company with a grim history of how it has treated NZ. This is core GP kaupapa and something the left should be supporting.
On polling, Shaw said that what he is hearing from people is they want Labour to have to talk to someone while in govt and not be able to make decisions by itself.
The question then becomes, how much does the left want Labour to be encouraged greenward and leftward? Do we want some tempering Green presence, but minimal? Or do we want a strong Labour/Green government that makes best use of the Green caucus talent and progressive policy platform?