It was show time, the ringmaster, superbly turned out as usual in his pinstripe double-breasted suit, playing a familiar role, had them guffawing like the media masochists that they have to be in his company.

He growled at the beginning of the berating that before any of them ran off to talk about him grandstanding in the Beehive's theatrette, which is usually reserved for the Prime Minister, visiting heads of state and ironically for coalition winner announcements, he was there because his parliamentary offices were being refurbished.

Still the venue, given he's literally at the centre of power, was fitting and the last time he stood at the podium he was announcing that Helen Clark was the winner over Don Brash in 2005 and so too was he of course with the plum job of Foreign Affairs Minister, a job he did well, particularly endearing himself to the Americans.

Given the state of the administration there at the moment, perhaps he could again step up to that particular plate.

And while he's at it he could again visit Pyongyang and preach some sense into the "rocket man". He was there 10 years ago when the Americans were calling it the Axis of Evil and emerged optimistically saying North Korea will benefit substantially from international support if they follow through on their promises to "denuclearise!"

But before getting ahead of ourselves, back to the masochist mauling which was reminiscent of his mentor Rob Muldoon, but with good humour.

And his ranting had reason. He quoted one article saying Winston was up to his old tricks again, keeping them guessing.

We are being kept guessing but not by him, the Electoral Commission is where the guess lies, with which way the 384,000 special votes are going to fall on October 7.

Peters has good reason to wait until he knows the answer to that before seriously sitting down National and Labour and, yes, he's even agreed to have a yarn to the Greens who he didn't want a bar of last time round.

He's mellowed, bristling at the claim by one journalist that he hates National's campaign manager Steven Joyce, which he reckons says more about the reporter who claimed it than it does for his relationship with the Finance Minister.

Neither he nor his colleagues hate anyone, Peters insisted, although he's clearly not to keen on the media, nor is he about the Act leader David Seymour. He spat that he's the most expensive beneficiary in the country who's just lost his job.

But on coalitions, with the exception of Act, Peters would say, the show ain't over till the fat lady sings and there'll be little music from him at least between now special vote day.