Weakened Greens and resurgent Labour could fit bill for Peters

EDITORIAL

A disastrous poll seems to have been the final spur that prompted Greens co-leader Metiria Turei to stand down. However, her travails and their impact on the Green Party could increase the prospect of a centre-left government after September.

Turei denied yesterday that the TV3/Reid Research poll, which saw the Greens slump from 13 to 8.3 percent support, had forced her resignation. But it is hard to accept it was not the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Earlier in the day her co-leader James Shaw said she was staying. Within hours they were back at a hurriedly-convened news conference to state the opposite.

Whether or not the poll result was the reason, Turei has taken the right decision for her party and quite probably herself, as she says the pressure on her family has been intolerable.

Nobody would be surprised at the “Jacinda bounce” that took Labour up nine points to 33.1 percent support, going a long way to restoring its credibility.

But the poll indicates Labour has taken much of its new support at the expense of the Greens and to a lesser extent New Zealand First. Labour really needs the Jacinda effect to take hold on undecideds, non-voters and especially young people.

National’s support is very slightly down at 44.4 percent, the lowest it has recorded since 2007. Even if all its present coalition partners survive, which is uncertain, it would not be able to reach the target of 61 seats needed to form a government according to this poll result.

So although his party suffered a 3.8 point drop to 9.2 percent support in this latest poll, Winston Peters remains the “kingmaker”.

The big difference is that he would be more inclined to enter a coalition with a stronger Labour and weakened Green Party. If NZ First finishes third on election day, he would be able to dictate more centrist terms to a left-wing bloc.

The Green Party’s dramatic reversal of fortune has been the main development of recent days, but Jacinda Ardern’s impact for Labour has been huge too — and there is a long way to go yet in this election.

A disastrous poll seems to have been the final spur that prompted Greens co-leader Metiria Turei to stand down. However, her travails and their impact on the Green Party could increase the prospect of a centre-left government after September.

Turei denied yesterday that the TV3/Reid Research poll, which saw the Greens slump from 13 to 8.3 percent support, had forced her resignation. But it is hard to accept it was not the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Earlier in the day her co-leader James Shaw said she was staying. Within hours they were back at a hurriedly-convened news conference to state the opposite.

Whether or not the poll result was the reason, Turei has taken the right decision for her party and quite probably herself, as she says the pressure on her family has been intolerable.

Nobody would be surprised at the “Jacinda bounce” that took Labour up nine points to 33.1 percent support, going a long way to restoring its credibility.

But the poll indicates Labour has taken much of its new support at the expense of the Greens and to a lesser extent New Zealand First. Labour really needs the Jacinda effect to take hold on undecideds, non-voters and especially young people.

National’s support is very slightly down at 44.4 percent, the lowest it has recorded since 2007. Even if all its present coalition partners survive, which is uncertain, it would not be able to reach the target of 61 seats needed to form a government according to this poll result.

So although his party suffered a 3.8 point drop to 9.2 percent support in this latest poll, Winston Peters remains the “kingmaker”.

The big difference is that he would be more inclined to enter a coalition with a stronger Labour and weakened Green Party. If NZ First finishes third on election day, he would be able to dictate more centrist terms to a left-wing bloc.

The Green Party’s dramatic reversal of fortune has been the main development of recent days, but Jacinda Ardern’s impact for Labour has been huge too — and there is a long way to go yet in this election.

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