Bill English

As all things new come to dominate New Zealand's political landscape, National will be forced more quickly than it hoped to confront its own need for change. Tonight's poll offers succour for the party, but tolls the bell for Bill.

The first poll of the year confirms the over-arching narrative of New Zealand politics since the election and follows some pretty typical trends. But it raises a few curly questions too, mostly about new generations.

Kumbaya be damned... Labour needs to pull-up its big boy pants, thank National for its robust approach and get on with business. That is how you become a great government

In amongst its busy and ambitious First 100 Days agenda, Labour seems to be determined to find time to sulk.

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.

Maybe there will be a government this week. Maybe not. To fill the vacuum speculation is the only alternative. 

This is the week we will be told what parties will make up the governing coalition and who will sit on the opposition benches of Parliament. Of this I am sure. 

While we wait for the specials to be counted and negotiations to begin, we can review what happened in Election 2017. A determinedly glass half-empty view of the results shows the big two parties have plenty to fret about

Bah and humbug. It could be just that I'm a producer by profession, and as such have been trained to trouble-shoot constantly and prepare for the worst. It's an occupational hazard driven by the fear of missing guests, unprepared hosts and dead air. But when I look at this year's election results I tend to see the downside for each party. So I thought, hey, why not write a post about that?