The Herald DigiPoll released this morning indicates that a Labour-led Govt is a possibility, if NZ First make 5% and Epsom voters do not vote for John Banks and Ohariu voters ditch Peter Dunne.
National has 61 seats on the DigiPoll. But if you add up a possible Labour 33, Greens 15, NZ First 6, Maori 4 and Mana 1 that is 59 seats. It would then take a small swing to make Phil Goff Prime Minister.
Ironically the DigiPoll also found 40% of voters wanted the Greens to go into coalition with National. Other polls have found Green voters say their Preferred Prime Minister is John Key. This reflects how successful their strategy has been to not rule National out. However what many voters do not realise, is that if a Labour-led Government is possible, then there is no way the Greens will not make that happen. Any deal with National would only occur if National could govern regardless of Green support.
What no one has focused on is what could a Labour-Green-NZ First-Maori-Mana Government look like. Let us assume that all five parties take up ministerial roles in proportion to their vote, and the size of the executive remains 28 Ministers.
There would be 15 Labour Ministers, seven Green Ministers, three NZ First Ministers, two Maori Party Ministers and one Mana Minister. Who would be the Ministers based on their rankings?
Labour - Phil Goff, Annette King, David Cunliffe, David Parker, Ruth Dyson, Clayton Cosgrove, Maryan Street, Trevor Mallard, Parekura Horomia, Charles Chauvel, Grant Robertson, Sue Moroney, Shane Jones, Lianne Dalziel and Su'a William Sio.
Green - Metiria Turei, Russel Norman, Kevin Hague, Catherine Delahunty, Kennedy Graham, Gareth Hughes, and David Clendon.
NZ First - Winston Peters, Tracey Martin and Andrew Williams
Maori - Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples
Mana - Hone Harwira
It is more difficult to speculate on which Minister would get which portfolios. The minor parties would generally get the ones they demand, as without their support Phil Goff won't be able to achieve his 30 year struggle to be Prime Minister.
It is hard to imagine Hone Harawira would settle for anything less than Maori Affairs. He would not trust any Department headed up and/or staffed by Pakeha mofos.
Andrew Williams would put his hand up to be Minister of Local Government, bringing all his diplomatic skills to the job. That anguished scream you hear is Len Brown jumping out his Auckland Town Hall office window.
Who knows what bauble Winston Peters would take. He's already had so many - Deputy PM, Treasurer, Foreign Minister. As he is a lawyer, perhaps he would become the nation's Attorney-General?
The Greens would be very fortunate. On their current polling Phil Goff would have to make their entire current caucus Ministers of the Crown. Catherine Delahunty would be a shoo-in to be Treaty Negotiations Minister. Has any Ngati Pakeha ever been more supportive of Maori aspiration than Catherine?
Gareth Hughes could become the Climate Change Minister entrusted with making sure New Zealand is the world leader on reducing climate emissions. Greenpeace's target of a 40% reduction by 2020 would need around one third of the dairy herd to be euthanized over the next nine years.
As Hone Harawira would be Minister of Maori Affairs, Parekura Horomia would need an alternate portfolio. Perhaps he would become Minister of Health. Charles Chauvel with his legendary self-promotion skills would be a natural to become Minister of Tourism. Trevor Mallard would return in glory to become Minister of Labour and introduce the nation-wide industry agreements for those unions who donated sufficient money to Labour.
As a blogger and political commentator, such a Government would be wonderful. Every day would be wonderfully exciting as Phil Goff (who struggles to have discipline even over his own caucus) tries to get Winston and Hone to agree on what laws he is allowed to pass. With a one vote majority, every single MP and party would have a veto over all Government decisions. This would mean that no one can predict in advance what the Government will do. The biggest beneficiary of such an election result would be the iPredict predictions market.
So as we head into the final fortnight before the election, a Labour-Green-NZ First-Maori-Mana Government may become a viable alternative to National winning the election. It will be MMP politics at its best. The more parties you need to agree to govern, the more consensus you get - right?
*David Farrar is a centre-right blogger and affiliated with the National Party. A disclosure statement on his political views can be found here.