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The last three weeks in pol­i­tics has been a bit like watch­ing a chess game.

We’re start­ing to get a clear pic­ture of the pieces and the play­ers, if not the out­come.

There’s been spec­u­la­tion that the King-maker Win­ston will be of­fered the crown as the spoil of a coali­tion deal with ei­ther the Right or Left.

It’s not clear if the Queen of Hearts is mak­ing a bee­line for the top spot.

The An­gel Ardern’s been a bit coy about her as­pi­ra­tions; it’s all been about thrash­ing out the poli­cies she says, not the pol­i­tics, or who’s go­ing to be PM. And what about Bill? He’s like the Bishop on the chess board.

He moves in pre­dictable fash­ion - di­ag­o­nally in a straight line.

Maybe there will be check­mate on his care­taker-King po­si­tion. And the pawn? Is that James Shaw - mere putty in more pow­er­ful hands, or are the pawns you and I, the vot­ers? An in­ter­est­ing game. Mary-Jo To­hill RE­PORTER: Rachael Kelly (03) 209-0114, 027 641 4281, rachael.kelly@fair­fax­me­; NEWS DI­REC­TOR: Ge­off Mein, ge­off.mein@fair­fax­me­, 027 200 4404; SALES MAN­AGER SOUTHLAND: Jac­qui McKinney (027) 807 3163, jac­qui.mckinney@fair­fax­me­ ME­DIA AC­COUNT EX­EC­U­TIVE: Doreen Scoullar (03) 209 0117, 027 836 4667 doreen.scoullar@fair­fax­me­; ME­DIA SALES CON­SUL­TANT: Tyla Routhan (03) 209 0118, (027) 562 7381 tyla.routhan@fair­fax­me­; CLASSIFIEDS: Shirley Cleaver (03) 209 0108; AD DEAD­LINES: Fea­tures - Friday 3pm; Dis­play - Monday 2pm; Classifieds Wed­nes­day 10am. AD­DRESS: 171 Main St, PO Box 66, Gore 9740. MISSED DE­LIV­ERY: 0800 784 846. DIG­I­TAL EDI­TIONS: neigh­ ON­LINE:, south­land­

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