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.

TEAM BLUE

Pros:

• More experienced hands running the economy and the coalition.

• Greater chance to be noticed next to boring Bill English.

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• 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.

Cons:
• 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.

TEAM RED

Pros:

• 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.

Cons:
• 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.