Coali­tion — ‘Right now it’s 50­50’

Otago Daily Times - - General -

WELLING­TON: Both Na­tional and Labour put their chances of form­ing a coali­tion gov­ern­ment with New Zealand First at 50­50.

Their lead­ers are wait­ing for a call from Win­ston Peters so talks can start, but so far he has not picked up the phone.

Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis con­firmed yes­ter­day there had not been any contact.

‘‘Right now it’s 50­50,’’ he said when he was asked what the chances were of Labour form­ing a gov­ern­ment.

‘‘No con­ver­sa­tions have started yet.’’ Na­tional deputy leader Paula Ben­nett said yes­ter­day she could not pick it.

‘‘On Satur­day night I was on the eu­pho­ria of 58 seats and here we go — but now we’ve got some work to do . . . It could go any way.

‘‘Un­til you’ve had those con­ver­sa­tions you can’t pick it.’’

Ms Ben­nett floated the pos­si­bil­ity of Na­tional and the Greens talk­ing to each other about form­ing a gov­ern­ment.

They could have a ma­jor­ity with the Greens’ seven seats.

‘‘Why not? You want to talk to every­body,’’ she said.

‘‘But I don’t think they are up for it. They say that’s not what they stood [cam­paigned] on.’’

Greens leader James Shaw has all but ruled out talk­ing to Na­tional.

Mr Peters has said there can­not be any se­ri­ous ne­go­ti­a­tions un­til spe­cial votes have been counted and the re­sults re­leased on Oc­to­ber 7. — NZN

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