Lloyd Burr: Labour, Greens will secretly celebrate Peters' plummet

OPINION: Winston Peters will never admit it, but he and his party officials will be worried at the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll. 

Over in the Labour and Green Party offices, they'll be quietly popping the champers. 

New Zealand First's vote has nearly halved since the election, going from 7.2 percent to just 3.8 percent. 

It means the party would be gone from Parliament. Winston Peters would be gone as Deputy Prime Minister. Gone as Foreign Minister. Stripped of his Crown car, his business class travel, and all the other perks he's been used to for years. 

Peters says he doesn't trust political polls, and never responds to them. But he'll be worried about this one given its magnitude.  

Usually a Government experiences a honeymoon in the first six months, and this is true for Labour, which has jumped 5.4 percent, and to some extent the Greens, which dropped 0.3 points but is steady on 6 percent.

But not for Winston Peters. He's been punished and decimated by voters, and shown the door.  

Why? Because of his prolonged decision to choose National or Labour? Because of his legal action against journalists, MPs, staffers, and public servants? Because he'll be Acting Prime Minister when Jacinda Ardern has her baby? 

The reasons are endless. 

Labour and the Greens would never admit it publicly, but they'll be celebrating the dire result for Peters and his entourage. 

Why? Because they can form a truly progressive government that isn't throttled and controlled, and held to ransom by the conservatism of New Zealand First.

Labour and the Greens would govern, without the ball and chain of New Zealand First. 

They could roll out proper, liberal medicinal cannabis reform. 

They could hold a forum on rivers and lakes and how to prevent them from being polluted. 

They wouldn't have to support a Bill that bans MPs from being independents if they quit their party. 

If Labour continues its rise, or just maintains its popularity, it'll be a shoo-in at the 2020 election, and will run the country with the Greens. 

But Winston won't go down without a fight - expect to see him front and centre a lot more from now on. 

Expect to see him make a real effort to seem like one of the people, and not just a greaser who loves the baubles of office. 

Lloyd Burr is a political reporter for Newshub.