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Don't Count Me Out Of The Next Govt - Anderton

Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton says he expects to have a role in a future Labour-led government, despite intimations at the weekend’s Labour Party congress that the senior coalition partner could govern alone.

Latest polls show Labour has the support of 51 percent of voters, enough to govern without a coalition partner.

“Even if Labour wins enough to go alone they will still seek partnership,” Mr Anderton said at today’s post-cabinet press conference.

He said executive government had been significantly enhanced by the contribution of the Alliance MPs in cabinet and said the government would not have been the success it has been is without a constructive coalition partner.

Mr Anderton indicated he wasn’t enthusiastic about a role outside the executive, saying the only way to be effective was in Government.

Over the weekend, Prime Minister Helen Clark gave Mr Anderton and the Alliance MPs one line of thanks at the tail-end end of a speech heavy on Labour’s achievements during the past term. In the speech, the Prime Minister said the party had buried the free-market policies of the eighties and nineties and laid claim to the legacy of Walter Nash and the early Labour leaders.

Asked if the lack of recognition rankled, the Deputy Prime Minister - still Parliamentary leader of the Alliance but poised to lead the Progressive Coalition - said it was expected of parties to promote themselves in the pre-election build-up.

Miss Clark had publicly shown significant loyalty to him in the past, Mr Anderton said.

Mr Anderton said that after 38 years in politics, he’d learned it’s not the business to go into for pats on the head.

“I don’t go round with a begging bowl … those who are mature enough don’t look for lines in speeches,” he said.


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