So the Greens think they can win the Nelson seat. Do we believe this? I doubt it. A late-breaking phone poll that has them closer than ever to sitting MP Nick Smith. But they're not in the lead, they're just close. And the idea is you float the idea that all things are possible if only we all gather together, hold hands and sing Kumbaya and pray.

It all sounds desperate to me. Seats in general aren't won out of the blue. Seats are targeted, and they're targeted for very good reasons. It's a long-term strategy, and you throw resources and time and energy at it. You don't toss out a phone poll late in the day in a desperate bid to grab a headline.

Because, ask yourself: why now? Because the Greens are on the verge of not making the 5 per cent. Polls have them close, but what we know about the Green vote is it never translates on the night to what the polls say in the lead-up. So for example, in the Colmar poll, a new one of which is out tonight, they would need 7 per cent to get 5 per cent on Saturday. They don't have that.

And here's why it is so critically important.


Most obviously, if they don't make 5 per cent and they don't win a seat, they're out of Parliament. And once you're out of Parliament its nigh on impossible to get back. This would be a cataclysmic result for them, and might well be the talking point of the night. So armed with that potential, they suddenly find a seat and a poll they think they can convince enough people is real.

The other part is if the Greens don't get to 5 that vote is burned off, you're burning off as much as 4.9 per cent, add the top vote which will be also burned off, you're looking at potentially 7 per cent of the vote gone. Then you're suddenly splitting 93 per cent. That plays brilliantly for National, who suddenly need maybe 43 or 44 per cent to get to government.

Mostly who wins a seat doesn't matter, given the percentage of the vote is what counts. But for Act, once upon a time for United, for the Maori party and now they would argue for the Greens - a seat is potentially life and death. The Greens, of course, should never have been in this position. The Greens are here thanks to Metiria Turei and her self-obsessed narcissism. These are desperate days clearly, and if the seat argument and this magic phone poll didn't smack so clearly of desperation, we might be taking it a little more seriously.