Progress: Center Left Government & Helen’s Big Call
With 52% of the vote counted Prime Minister Helen Clark now has a wafer thin majority with the assistance of the Greens and Jim Anderton’s Progressive Coalition.
Labour is presently holding 52 seats, Jim Anderton two and the Greens 8. On past polling trends the Labour and Green totals are likely to hold towards the end of the count and possibly climb as the bigger booths report their results.
Between them the parties of the left now have 62 seats which gives them the ability to reappoint Jonathan Hunt (no. 2 Labour List candidate) as speaker and still hold a majority in the house with 61 votes.
Clark’s big call following this result is whether to go with the Greens, whom she has been rather rude to of late, calling them pathetic and luddites, or the almost completely unknown United Future team.
United Future’s Peter Dunne, presently holding nine seats, speaking on TV tonight, has said he is not expecting a call from the Prime Minister tonight but may expect discussions to begin tomorrow. He says he is planning on spending the rest of the evening celebrating.
Meanwhile in Coromandel Jeanette Fitzsimons has conceded her Coromandel seat but has appeared on TV in a fairly triumphant fashion looking as if Green Party involvement in Helen Clark’s next government is a certainty.
As this report is posted Laila Harre has conceded defeat in the Waitakere electorate, heralding the end of a Parliamentary presence for the Alliance party.