Tonight on TV3 news, John Key ominously warned that ‘a Labour government will include Winston Peters, Hone Harawira and Metiria Turei’.
Leaving aside the fact that Peters has ruled out a coalition with Labour and Labour has ruled out a coalition with Mana, You gotta wonder why a party who is polling double their main opponents needs to run out this kind of clumsy race-baiting during the last week of the campaign. So I’m calling it: based on this statement, and the increasingly weird and hysterical posts on Kiwiblog, I predict that National’s internal polling has Winston Peters registering at >5%.
I guess the goal here is to have Hone Harawira respond and call Key a racist, and this will ‘close the circuit’ and give the story some legs. The bulk of the population dislikes Harawira so they’ll sympathise with Key; and Winston Peters will be associated in the minds of potential voters with Harawira and classified as a ‘big-spending, unstable and volatile’ Maori. But I doubt this will work. Peters’ brand with his potential voters is way too strong.
And . . . maybe it’s me, but like everything Key’s said in the last week, this also seems hubristic. Sure, given the parameters of the current polls Goff will need the Greens and New Zealand First to form a government. But if enough voters decide they want Labour to govern on their own, then that’s what’ll happen. I don’t think it will, or even that they should – but it’s up to the people to decide.