Patrick Gower: Labour-Greens do double dirty deal in Ōhāriu
OPINION: Labour and the Greens have just done the dirtiest electorate deal in New Zealand political history - and it is all about destroying Peter Dunne.
The tree-hugging Greens will not stand in Ōhāriu to help the gun-toting former cop Greg O'Connor win the seat for Labour.
This is dirtier than most electorate deals because for the first time in recent history a party is totally giving up on a seat and not running rather than standing but giving a 'cup of tea' signal for its voters to go for a minor party candidate.
But what makes it doubly dirty is the Greens helping O'Connor.
It goes without saying that the Greens don't like O'Connor and his pro-Police ways one little bit - he wants the community cops in Johnsonville to have guns on their hips and reckons police were hard done by in the likes of Roast Busters and the Tuhoe raids.
You can be sure that there's plenty in Labour who won't like O'Connor much either.
But while this is dirty it shows Labour and the Greens finally really want to win not just Ōhāriu, but the General Election.
Finally they have decided that they want to get rid of Dunne.
Dunne has only held the seat because National has signalled its voters should go for him. Contentious legislation like asset sales has been passed only because of his vote in Parliament.
In a tight election, Dunne's vote could get National across the line without needing Winston Peters.
Labour and the Greens know that to win, they need to get rid of him.
The electoral math is simple.
Dunne only won by 710 votes last time. The Greens candidate got 2764 votes. National ran a weak candidate, Brett Hudson, who sucked up 6120 votes despite the 'cup of tea' deal. It is a right-leaning electorate. O'Connor is a conservative, and strong.
This could be the end of Dunne. And that is worth a double dirty deal for Labour and the Greens.