Peters has no alternative but National

Akash Ishaq

Most of us agree that General Election 2017 has been the most captivating so far.

Bill English should be hailed for keeping his team unified and for being the ideal leader that the right-wing supporters anticipated after the resignation of Sir John Key.

Despite going through disastrous leadership failures, losing credible members and  suffering media pressure, Jacinda Ardern rescued the Labour Party but could have done better than getting 36% of the votes.

Ill-prepared Leader

Can we blame her inexperience or her advisers? Perhaps a little of both. Inability of being assertive and ill-informed in certain areas unfortunately had also contributed to her failure to secure a majority.

Will it be an English or a Jacinda Government? While the Party with a majority of votes is significant, under MMP, Parties with lesser votes can also form a coalition Government if they can prove their strength.

Labour-Greens Combo

Is it time for Jacinda Ardern? The Labour Party has been having leadership issues for some time now. Kelvin Davis, her Deputy, has said that he will step aside to make way for Winston Peters for coalition with Labour. This tells us that that there will be friction within the Labour camp again.

Now the Greens, how will they accept having to work with Mr Peters who likes to keep his distance with them? Co-Leader James Shaw would like to think that he can be in good terms with Mr Peters, but do we genuinely believe Mr Shaw? It is to do with accepting the view of a very seasoned politician, somewhat conservative at times, however genuinely nationalist at heart.

Ms Ardern must take into consideration her future and whether she has unconditional support of her caucus. If not, her role as Prime Minister can be short-lived.

National, best choice

National has the numbers, Mr English has had plenty of dealings with Mr Peters and in the bigger scheme of things, there is history, a lot of experience and overall satisfactory leadership.

Deputy Leader Paula Bennett is more pragmatic than Mr Davis with what is needed to form a fourth term National-led Government.

The seniority and experience that National has is by far superior to that of Labour. Mr Peters, Mr Shaw and Ms Ardern can easily be seen butting heads over running of the Government whereas conflicting ideology would be minimal with Mr English.

Delivering the proposed Smart Gold Card for some reason seems easier with National. Mr English must share similar views on farmers and foreign ownership of land.

The left has made several election promises; that could delay some of New Zealand First’s critical policies.

Labour-Greens imbroglio

Mr Shaw has indicated that he wishes to have two ministerial portfolios and has openly declined to shake hands with National. Ms Ardern will find it difficult to deny Greens their demands. This also means he will not settle for confidence in supply.

M Peters has sat on cross-benches whilst being a Minister under the Helen Clark Government in 2005 but I cannot see that happening this time.

I believe that the decision will not be complicated at all.

It will only prolong if Mr Peters thinks that he can work with the Labour Party.

Akash Ishaq is a journalist and Reporter at Radio Tarana. He has been reporting on political developments for more than a decade.

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