Like everyone else, the Greens can see the writing is on the wall. Unlike everyone else, the Greens are doing something about it.
Yesterday's launch of the party's plan to lift 100,000 children out of poverty over the next three years is the first move of a strategy to cope with the reality that - bar some act of God - the election is already National's.
The Greens may have survived the ravages of Government by not being party to the ravages of Government. But another three years of limited relevance beckons - on top of the 12 years served consecutively in that capacity since the Greens entered Parliament.
The Greens have been polling as high as 10 per cent. But some of that support could decamp as fast as it has arrived once voters work out there will be no coalition with Labour as the numbers will not stack up. The Greens have sought to keep those voters on board by opening the door a few millimetres to a deal with National. But no one seriously expects the Greens to prop up a National-led Government.
The pressure is thus on the Greens to demonstrate that casting a vote for the party is still worthwhile.
To that end, the party has listed three policy priorities for achieving the Green vision - a child poverty action plan; a clean-up of New Zealand rivers so they are safe to swim in; and the creation of thousands of "green" jobs.
Details of how the Greens see the last two priorities being progressed will be unveiled this month so there is time for the policies to sink in before the country becomes consumed with the Rugby World Cup.
Crucially, the Greens' latest priorities have been framed in a fashion that would make it possible to make progress regardless of whether Labour or National is in power.
The Greens have already worked on a limited case-by-case basis with National under a memorandum of understanding, notably in subsidising the insulation of older houses.
The Greens are clearly flagging a significant expansion of items coming under the purview of the memorandum.
The priority-setting is also driven by the the Greens' tendency at past elections to have too many policies and too little attention given to communicating them effectively.
The party's two co-leaders, Metiria Turei and Russel Norman, are also acutely conscious of the limited "fiscal space" available for new Government spending in straitened times and have accordingly costed the policy priorities.
In other words, the Greens are not putting forward some unattainable and unaffordable policy wish-list. They want to be seen as both realistic and responsible.
National would still gulp at the $1 billion-plus bill over three years for the child poverty action plan. National will not buy an extension of the in-work tax credit to beneficiaries as that would undercut Working for Families' incentives to look for work.
However, National might be more receptive to the other Green suggestions of offering better study assistance for sole parents and beneficiaries or implementing minimum energy standards covering the heating of residential rental accommodation.
Add it all up and the Greens' gambit begins to look a bit like the coalition you have when you do not have a formal coalition.