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Winnie Really is in the Box Seat

Anyone who imagined that the Winnie threat to both sides of the spectrum was overstated need only look at Mathew Hooten's column in last week's National Business Review to understand just how real is the threat.

And he really hasn't even started his campaign by any means. Next week's budget will be very telling in terms of his ability to attack the Government with much  greater authority and flair than Little and his cohort, particularly as Shane Jones is expected to shortly join him. Hooten thinks that it is Labour votes that he is after, but I suspect there is even greater fragility on the other side of the House - particularly on immigration and the environment.

He is already well ahead of the Greens, and it is only his continuing antipathy for both their policies and their leadership that would prevent a grand coalition with him as Prime Minister and Jacinta as Deputy. But as we all know, he is totally unpredictable, and will as in the past keep us all waiting in the event of a tight one - even for weeks on end - he has form in that regard.

As Hooten says "Under the circumstances in which Little appears to leading them, why on earth wouldn't Ms Adern and her colleagues go for it." Stephen Joyce had better be in a position to pull some rabbits from the hat come Thursday- particularly on Health, if his Party is to stand much a of a chance come September - that is my personal and rather depressing assessment, if only because of the consequences of a cliff-hanger result.




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