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Progressives Saved Day For MMP Last Election

Progressives Saved Day For MMP Last Election

Progressive leader, Jim Anderton, will tell party faithful at next weekend's inaugural conference that they played a pivotal role in saving the MMP electoral system by winning two seats at the last election.

"Following the election in 2002, Labour and the Greens won enough seats between them to form a majority coalition government. Because of an irreconcilable fallout over a single issue those parties were unable to form a government for New Zealand," Jim Anderton said today.

"Labour might have been forced reluctantly to seek the support of the conservative United Party to form a coalition, but Labour and United Future didn't win enough seats between them to form a majority government either," Jim Anderton said.

"Had the Progressives not won two critical seats last July, the country would have faced the possibility of a fresh general election which would have been very damaging to both MMP as well as the Greens," Jim Anderton said.

"But the Progressives did win two crucial seats, enough for Labour to turn to us to form a coalition government which has the support of United Future on confidence and supply until the end of 2005," Jim Anderton said.

Looking ahead to the next election, Jim Anderton said the Progressives will continue to work closely with United Future and NZ First on policies to combat the effects of drug and alcohol abuse among the young and will seek their support for policies to promote jobs, training and education for New Zealanders.

"But the challenge for Progressives at the 2005 election is to ensure an historic third term center-left coalition government. United Future and NZ First have made it 100% clear in their recent speeches that they are just as open to going into coalition with Richard Prebble and Don Brash as they are in looking after the interests of the people we represent.

"The Progressives' challenge is to ensure that in 2005 our party increases its representation in Parliament so that we can continue to deliver policies to encourage jobs, training and education ? and to fight social ills including alcohol and drug abuse," Jim Anderton said.

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