So: winners and losers from Saturday night.

Depending on how generous you want to be, there were in fact quite a few winners.

Winston Peters obviously is the big winner.
None of this is good news for MMP as a system.

Coalitions that work collaboratively, like Labour and the Greens, or National and Act, are what make MMP more acceptable.

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They have their disagreements in the background, there's a bit of give and take, but fundamentally you know that they will get there in the end because they are pretty well aligned with each other.

New Zealand First are hostage-takers.

For a party with nine seats they have far too much say - and it damages the system's reputation ... but nevertheless they are the big winners.

National are winners, Bill English deserves big credit for a very, very good campaign - and any party that can end up with 58 seats and on the verge of a fourth term has got to be respected.

Labour are winners - not that you would have thought so when Jacinda Ardern walked out her front door. It was all apologies and downbeat assessments ... I am assuming driven by delusion.

She's taken her party from 24 per cent to 36 - she's put them back in the game.
Hell it's not impossible she'll be prime minister - to have realistically expected much more was nuts.

The polls were also the winners: by last week they'd all lined up - Nats 46/47; Labour 36; Greens back; Winston over the line - the rest next to no votes.
They got it spot on.

The Greens were winners, if you accept that what they did to themselves was catastrophic - and really survival was all they could even dream of ... and survive they did. Given what might well have happened I'd see that as a good night at the polls.

Now to the losers.

The Maori Party of course - wiped out - and in Te Ururoa Flavell's case unexpectedly so. They won't be back ... it's over.

The Maori king was a loser: telling everyone to vote for the Maori Party - they ignored him.

UnitedFuture are losers - but they did it voluntarily so it's not like it was a shock.
But having said that, having dealt with Peter Dunne a bit, that bloke's a winner. He has never been happier ... he's light of foot and there is not a shadow of a doubt in his mind he made the right call.

Act are losers - their vote was pathetic. They get a seat with a sweetheart deal and they won't be in government this time round.

And ultimately we are potentially all losers - with NZ First the sort of party they are, with the personnel they have.

The last 18 years of settled, stable government - where scraps are not part of the landscape, where antagonism, frustration and carping is but a distant memory.

We might be in for a messy three years - and for a country doing so well ... what a shame that would be

Let's for now at least hope for the best.