Try to make sense of this: it looks like John Key can't lose an election that he can't win.
Yes, Key in an unloseable position in an unwinnable race.
The polls show the left can't win - they can't get the numbers together to get a feasible majority no matter what.
The right can get the numbers together to win - but not without some serious compromises. It looks as if it's not a matter of whether Key wins, but more how he wins.
Let's start with the death throes of the left.
The Greens' tricky, cynical and reheated claim they could work with National was probably the final gasp of the left bloc this week.
It was just Greenwash, really: Russel Norman and Metiria Turei hate Key and everything he stands for, and have spent the past three years bashing National.
It was a coded sign the Greens don't think David Cunliffe and Labour can make it and are trying to grab Labour voters if there's a further plunge.
Who needs enemies when you have the Greens?
To be fair, the Greens owe Labour nothing. Labour has treated the Greens poorly all year, trying to pretend they don't really exist.
Now it's payback time, with the vegetarian vultures feasting on Labour's carcass.
Meanwhile, Key's dream of National going it alone or even doing it the easy way with Act-United Future has gone down the dirty politics drainpipe.
The end result of the Dirty Politics scandal may be that although a majority of voters don't want a change of Government they do want the Government to change the way it acts.
Thus the strength of New Zealand First and the surge of the Conservatives.
Some centre-right voters have clearly deserted National because of dirty politics and are looking to Winston Peters and Colin Craig to keep 'em honest.
Yes, there's still Kim Dotcom's "moment of truth" tomorrow night, and even if this does hurt Key, the trend seems to be that this won't switch voters over to the left - they don't see Labour as a viable option.
The Dirty Politics drop means at best, Key might need the Maori Party to pass every law: that would be messy for him.
No more pokies deals, asset sales or anything controversial. As much as Key talks up how much he likes the Maori Party, he won't like the handbrake of more hui and less do-ey.
So that means Key will probably need Peters or Craig.
And you don't need me to tell you that relying on Peters to form a Government is not a "win" for Key.
Which takes us to Craig. By getting to more than 4 per cent in the polls Craig has proved many wrong - including myself.
He has a good chance now of going all the way to Parliament, particularly if Key doesn't believe there's any way of getting the 4-5 per cent of voters back over to National.
Even if Key is panicked, it looks like he will not talk up Craig. He wants those people to vote for National.
So a "win" for Key now likely means Peters and/or Craig moving in. It could be worse for Key - he could always lose.
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