Internet Party leader Laila Harre has criticised the Greens for talking about the possibility of a co-operation deal with a National Government just eight days from the election - a proposal that National has slapped down and exploited.
"I think it is seriously mis-timed," Ms Harre told the Weekend Herald.
She said it was crucial that progressive parties focused on mobilising turnout to change the government and the amount of early voting so far signalled the potential for a significant increase.
"I think the Greens' statement is unfortunate. It risks demoralising those who are confident and hold hope that the progressive parties are focused on a change of government," Ms Harre said.
In the event that National managed to put together a government after September 20, it would be one that was extremely vulnerable, with John Key's leadership an issue in the aftermath of the Dirty Politics revelations.
"All of that makes it even more important that the progressive parties that want to change the Government are entirely focused on that outcome.
"It is not the time for any of those parties to be forming relationships of any nature with the National Party."
The Greens' formal position as decided at its AGM in June is the same as before, that its strong preference is to form a government with Labour and it is extremely unlikely to support National.
However, co-leader Russel Norman yesterday morning raised the prospect of getting another memorandum of understanding with a National-led government.
The aim, it is understood, was to try to get some of the soft "blue-green" vote away from National.
However, Prime Minister John Key had ruled it out by the afternoon and exploited the appearance of a rift between the Greens and Labour for all it was worth.
"They've given up hope on Labour," he told reporters in Northland.
"The Greens have made their own way with Labour.
"The fact that the ship is taking on so much water is really a problem for the two of them to think about."
The big problem for Labour leader David Cunliffe was that the only partner he had basically got "is saying 'man overboard'," the PM said
Officials from Labour and the Greens met yesterday to discuss the development.
Mr Cunliffe told reporters in Hawkes Bay: "We have heard back from the Greens that they have every intention of working profitably in a Labour-led government and their comments were more focused on, you might say, economic National voters who have environmental sympathies.
"It's much more focused on National voters than anything else.
"They've reassured us they will be happy to support a Labour-led government. We are very pleased to have those reassurances."
He described as "nonsense" the possibility of the Greens becoming a larger party in Parliament than Labour.
Mr Cunliffe maintained that a Labour government would have only three parties: Labour, NZ First and the Greens.
The Greens had a co-operation agreement with National in its first term - putting a Green stamp of approval on some of National's pledges, such as to continue the home insulation programme begun under the previous Labour Government, and to set up cycleways around the country.
National saw the co-operation agreement as being in its own interests - to seem more inclusive - as it was with its confidence and supply agreement with the Maori Party.
The Greens sounded out National for another similar agreement in its second term but were rejected by the ruling party.
By that time, National believed it was more in its interests to contrast its own economic development agenda with the Greens' opposition to mining and gas and oil exploration, irrigation schemes and reform of the Resource Management Act.