Labour Party

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.

Amidst a pletohora of speculation around the government coalition talks, this weekend's final results made one thing very clear and Winston Peters knows it

It is a time of rune-reading, navel-scrutinizing and Winstonology. A time when little is said and those few words that escape are picked over with elaborate pontification and freighted with meaning they are too slender to bear. A time when we are often better to listen and wait than to guesstimate. And then, a speck appears.

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?

What looked like a campaign set to be dominated by third parties now has suddenly been tilted back towards the big two. Jacinda Ardern's election to the Labour leadership makes many new things possible, but one key thing even more likely

Beware cries of a Labour miracle. While Jacinda Ardern is "a young proposition", she's not just been pulled from the bullrushes, and while the past 36 hours have seen a remarkable 'Jacinda Effect', she's not the saviour. But she has changed this election campaign utterly.

There are still reasons for caution about Jacinda Ardern's rise to the Labour leadership. The fact she may one day have children is not one of them - and Mark Richardson doesn't understand how anti-discrimination law works.

There are, I think, legitimate reasons to sound some notes of caution about Jacinda Ardern's rise to the leadership of Labour. She undeniably has much promise in that role and her performance in the first 24 hours has been stellar. But still ... I am not yet fully converted (because I've been hurt so many times before).