The pundit’s fallacy is when a political commentator decides that what they personally want to happen is the best political and strategic outcome for a party or government. And here you can almost hear the wheels spinning in John Armstrong’s brain: he wants a National-led government, he doesn’t want Winston Peters to be part of it – click; whirr; hiss – so the Greens should enter into coalition with National.
If the Greens go into coalition with National they instantly lose an unknown but non-zero percentage of their MPs. They’ll lose more during the term as English and Joyce make cuts to the public service and Finlayson and Collins go to war on the Bill of Rights and the legal system, and MPs resign from the party in protest. They lose party members and donors. They lose a huge percentage of their voters who are soft-Labour supporters, and they get wiped out at the next election. It’s political suicide. It won’t happen. It makes more sense for Labour and National to go into coalition together than it does for the Greens to sit at the Cabinet table with Judith Collins and Steven Joyce.
If National gets a majority then the Greens might agree to abstain on confidence and supply in exchange for some policy wins. And that’s a good reason to vote Green if you’re on the left – they’ll be an effective opposition but they may also deliver some policies.