Patrick Gower: Green Party's 'nuclear' election threat shows fear of Winston
OPINION: The Green Party has "gone nuclear" on Winston Peters by threatening to call a new election if he is Kingmaker.
It is an extreme call that demonstrates the extreme fear the Greens have of Winston.
It shows us they are panicked by the current rise of Peters.
It also shows us that the Greens don't trust New Zealand First.
But more importantly, it shows us the Greens don't trust Labour.
It shows us the Labour-Green "Memorandum of Understanding", which expires on Election Day, is actually more meaningless than people thought.
The Green MP Barry Coates should be congratulated for showing in public what the Greens have been keeping private.
It is their "how do we stop Winston and Labour from shafting us" plan.
State of the Parties report cards:
The post-election scenario they are worried about is actually pretty realistic. New Zealand First as Kingmaker able to make National the government, or one made up by Labour-Greens.
In such a scenario, Peters makes the price of going with the left that it is him and Labour as government, with the Greens voting for it from the outside because they have no other option.
Well, Barry Coates has revealed there is another option: "the nuclear option" - refuse to support it, potentially forcing a new election. He has shown the Greens are ready to enter a high-stakes game of political chicken with Peters.
James Shaw has tried to hose this down but hasn't actually ruled this out - that's because it is pretty much the Greens' only option.
The problem is, it doesn't exactly make the Labour-Green-NZ First combination look stable.
In fact, Winston Peters is suddenly looking more stable than the Greens.
But that is what extreme fear does to you - it makes you do extreme things.
And the Greens are clearly extremely scared of Winston Peters.
Scared Labour and New Zealand First will try and shut them out of government.
Patrick Gower is Newshub's political editor.