With New Zealand First having difficulty in making up its mind which way to go, political editor Audrey Young provides a summary of the pros and cons for them going either way as they make their decision today.
• More experienced hands running the economy and the coalition.
• Greater chance to be noticed next to boring Bill English.
• Ability to hit the ground running with an already up-and-running govt
• A simpler two-way coalition and safe majority.
• Greater policy contrasts will make NZ First easier to define.
• Winston Peters has more potential to clash with newly mandated English.
• Associated with a third-term govt whose fortunes will probably wane by the 2020 election.
• Might not look like the change NZ First campaigned for.
• Competing for the same vote in provincial NZ.
• National could change leaders part way through the term, like it did in 1996, upsetting coalition arrangements.
• Peters complements Jacinda Ardern in gender, age and experience.
• Ardern may be more willing to take advice from Peters.
• Ardern associated with Helen Clark-era which was good for Peters.
• Many more policies in common.
• Greater chance to influence new govt.
• Ardern untested as a leader and Grant Robertson untested in finance role.
• NZ First could be overshadowed by three years of Jacindamania.
• Battling perception it is a govt of losing parties.
• Part of a three-way govt with thinner majority.
• Having to work more closely with the Greens.