by Andrew Geddis

Winston Peters' announcement that he will enter a coalition with Labour gives the 2017 election its final meaning. But it sounds like it was a very, very close run thing.

So, very late yesterday afternoon (let's be charitable) Winston Peters lifted the box's lid and out wandered a cat with a black head, red body and green tail.

Was the 2017 election a vote for change? Or was it an endorsement of the status quo? The answer is yes ... and no.

Have a look at this picture of Rubin’s vase and see what you see: is it two faces looking at each other; is it a wine goblet? The true answer is that it is both; yet because of how our brains are wired to perceive the world, whichever image you choose to see, you then cannot see the other.

The official election results finally have been announced. They tell us what we thought they would - so now what will they mean?

The announcement of the official election count, including special votes, is both unsurprising and at least potentially game-changing (to use a much-abused cliché).

AUT's Julienne Molineaux has written a must-read guide to post-election processes ... anyone wanting to know anything about this should go and read it.

I was going to write something today setting out how the post-election government formation process works.

What do we know, don't we know and think we know after the election night results?

The day after the night before, some things have become clear while some things remain uncertain.

Perhaps clearest is just how wrong were all those who solely attributed the National Party’s previous electoral success to “the John Key effect”. Under a new leader, ending their third term in power, National has attracted a greater share of the vote than when first elected in 2008.

We'll know the election night results very early on Saturday evening. But we likely won't know the election outcome until early October.

Now we’ve entered the last week of the election campaign, Saturday’s finishing post is in sight. Once the polls close at 7pm on that day, no further ballots may be cast.

If Murray McCully told Parliament that MFAT told him legal risk justified the Saudi Sheep deal, then why does MFAT say they never told him that?

One of the problems for an incumbent Government seeking re-election is that, no matter your best intentions and efforts over the previous term, there will be skeletons hiding in the closet.

Advance voting began today, and in two weeks time the whole shouting match will be done. None to soon, given the effect it seems to be having on some people.

Warning - second half of this post contains discussion of suicide in the context of medical aid in dying.

The pressure of the election campaign seems to be getting to some people, as we've seen a couple of pretty silly comments made in the last couple of days.

Gareth Morgan's attempt to have the High Court thrust him into tonight's TVNZ minor party leaders' debate failed. On the whole, taking everything into account, that's probably a good thing. 

In what is becoming a somewhat predictable election campaign gambit, Gareth Morgan yesterday unsuccessfully went to the High Court to try and force his way into tonight’s minor party leader’s debate on TVNZ, as well as its young voters’ debate next Thursday

National apparently doesn't think gang members with criminal records are properly human. Or, rather, they don't deserve to be given the same rights that full humans possess.

Yesterday, National announced a gang and drugs policy that promised both progressive and regressive change. Promises of extra money to fund drug treatment and community harm prevention sat alongside such war-on-drugs staples as heavier prison sentences and new offences for drug users.