Labour leader David Cunliffe says there will be a maximum of three parties in any Government he leads, and has ruled out including the Maori Party at the Cabinet table.
Speaking to Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking this morning, Mr Cunliffe said he intended to only include the Green Party and NZ First in any government.
Asked if he was also ruling out the Maori Party, he said he would possibly talk to Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell after the election but "I just won't have them in Government."
He did not believe Mr Flavell would opt to side with Labour if it was in a kingmaker position, despite Mr Flavell saying they were open to working with either side and would take their lead from what Maori voters wanted.
"People need to know before the election that a vote for the Maori Party is a vote for the National Party."
He would not rule out a lower level arrangement with internet-Mana, but repeated his claim that they would not hold any ministerial or other executive positions.
Asked whether he would stand down if he did not pull off an election win, Mr Cunliffe said he would have a very long sleep and then make a decision. He has previously said he intended to stay on as leader if Labour did not win and said he believed he had made a good fist of the job.
Mr Hosking said history showed that very few leaders managed to survive a big election loss and Mr Cunliffe replied "history doesn't always predict the future."
Mr Cunliffe also said he did not believe Labour was stuck in the mid-20s despite a succession of polls placing them there.
Mr Cunliffe said not all polls had Labour in the mid-20s -- but refused to name one in which it was doing better.
"I don't think [we need] a miracle, because I don't think we are in the mid-20s. It is my expectation we will turn out more voters this season than any other." Mr Cunliffe conceded Labour had a lot of ground to make up over the next fortnight.
"I am looking to my team to deliver on that. I'm looking to myself to deliver a strong performance in the next two weeks." Mr Cunliffe also dismissed claims that Green co-leader Russel Norman was shaping up to become the chief position leader as "wishful thinking." He said Dr Norman knew he would not get the finance portfolio after the election if Labour formed a Government with the Green Party.
Mr Cunliffe said he took NZ First leader Winston Peters seriously and would not rule out including Mr Peters and some of his MPs in a future Cabinet.
Mr Cunliffe also defended his slip-ups over Labour's capital gains tax policy, saying the policy was there on Labour's website for all to see.
He denied Prime Minister John Key had caught him out on the details, saying it was Mr Key who had been wrong on the details when he claimed in the Press debate that family homes held in a trust would be subject to the tax.
Mr Cunliffe had also said homes inherited after the death of a parent would be subject to the tax if not sold within a month, but later had to correct that. Mr Cunliffe said no inherited homes would be subject to the CGT.
Rangitata candidate would get sack
Labour leader David Cunliffe says he would sack the party's Rangitata candidate Steve Gibson if he could, and "he has no future as a Labour candidate."
Speaking to Mike Hosking on the Newstalk ZB Leaders' Breakfast this morning, Mr Cunliffe said Mr Gibson was reprimanded again this week after repeating his references to Prime Minister John Key and National MPs as "Shylocks" in an abuse-ridden interview with the
Mr Gibson had also criticised Labour for it's softly-softly Vote Positive campaign.
Mr Cunliffe said if it was not too late to pull Mr Gibson off the ballot he would do so, "He doesn't have a future as a Labour candidate."
He said Mr Gibson was selected for the electorate because he had presented well, but while some candidates thrived in campaigns, he had not.
Mr Cunliffe held his punches over Selwyn candidate Gordon Dickson, saying Mr Dickson had some issues he was not at liberty to discuss.
"They're not offences, they're attributes."
Mr Dickson had emailed a Radio Live reporter telling him to "grow a pair" and questioning his ethics because the reporter did not follow up on Mr Dickson's suggestion to ask Prime Minister John Key whether he had confidence in Anne Tolley.
Today's Newstalk ZB interview kicks off Mr Cunliffe's last fortnight of the campaign - and while he was talking up his chances of victory yesterday he will have to put in a strong performance after another dismal week in the polls.
His campaign has been overshadowed by the focus on Dirty Politics and Labour's failure to make any gains from National's plight - something Mr Cunliffe will have to try to explain during the 90 minute Newstalk ZB Leader's Breakfast.
Mr Cunliffe yesterday tried to turn the tables on National which has scaremongered over the coalition partners Labour is likely to need if it has an chance of governing.
Mr Cunliffe said National needed to rely on the Act and Conservative parties it would be "a beast that was not in line with New Zealanders' expectations and wants."
He said that would push a people to vote for Labour. "I think it's very close."
However, Mr Cunliffe is also likely to be face questions about his own performance, including his failure to recall key details of Labour's Capital Gains Tax policy.
Mr Cunliffe and Mr Hosking last met when Mr Hosking hosted the TVNZ leaders' debate between Mr Cunliffe and National leader John Key. In the lead up to that, Labour had complained about Mr Hosking as the moderator saying he had shown pro National views in the past.
Mr Hosking's Leader's Breakfast with National leader John Key will be next Monday.
Asked about Mr Cunliffe's comments, NZ First leader Winston Peters said he had not given Labour any advance suggestion he would be willing to enter an arrangement with them.
"No one speaks for NZ First but NZ First. I'm not going to get even remotely concerned about what other parties say."
He maintained NZ First would not make its decision until after the election.
Maori Party coleader Te Ururoa Flavell says Mr Cunliffe may have shot himself in the foot by ruling the Maori Party out of being part of a Labour led Government.
Mr Flavell said he was surprised by Mr Cunliffe's statement and described it as "panic politics" and pandering to those who did not agree with an independent Maori party.
"What's happened to their Vote Positive campaign? Vote Positive - but just not for Maori! The Labour Party is clearly being pushed into a corner by opposition parties and feeling desperate because the latest polls show it is unlikely Labour will have the luxury of forming a Government at all."
Mr Flavell has consistently said he would work with either Labour or National and has refused to give a preference. He said he maintained that "open door" stance for both sides and would be happy to talk if Mr Cunliffe changed his mind.
He said Maori TV's polls showed most Maori would prefer the party to work with Labour, but were comfortable with them being with National if there was no choice.
"David Cunliffe is ignoring Maori voters and I would have thought with an election 12 days away he would be smarter than that."