NEWSFLASH: It's Labour – The Talking Begins
While for now technically the center-right and center-left remain tied on 61 seats each, Winston Peters promise to support the party with the most seats looks likely to make Labour the Government come Monday morning.
While Labour may soon stretch its lead to two over National breaking this deadlock the final result remains in play and up the post count talking.
Three parties will now be closely watched.
While the Maori Party – who have not promised to support Labour - could technically put National over the top this seems unlikely for several reasons.
Principally Winston Peters' NZ First is unlikely to let that happen. As he has promised to support the party with the most seats he is honor bound to first offer his support to Labour on confidence and supply. If he does so with his seven votes then the Maori Party's four seats will be technically irrelevant to the formation of a Government.
The other floating party is United Future.
United Future leader Peter Dunne has already made a public statement to the effect that he will not support a Labour Party with Greens in the Cabinet.
Reading between the lines this means he is already considering putting his weight behind an LPG (Labour Progressive Green) Government. Peter Dunne is not however in a king-maker position as his three seats cannot make up the deficit left if the Maori Party does not offer its four seats to Labour.