Patrick Gower: Labour-Green combo best Left vibe in years

Turei, Shaw, King and Little - the Left (Labour/Twitter)
Turei, Shaw, King and Little - the Left (Labour/Twitter)

OPINION: If it is "all about the vibe", then the Labour-Green alliance has nailed it from the outset of election year.

My first question after seeing them onstage together at the joint State of the Nation was, "What took you guys so long?"

The vibe at the Mount Albert War Memorial Hall was the best I have seen on the Left for years.

The leaders gelled, and so did the crowds. Labour benefited from the Green energy. And the Greens benefited from the extra size of Labour.

They both looked better together. But the most important thing was that it felt real. 

The Green supporters liked Andrew Little. The Labour supporters liked Metiria Turei. They clapped each other like they meant it.

Andrew Little (Jenna Lynch/Newshub.)
Andrew Little (Jenna Lynch/Newshub.)

It was interesting to see the crowd clap just as strongly when Turei talked about water quality as it did when Little talked about the health system.

Turei got it right for the crowd by singing the praises of Helen Kelly. It showed that in the Left, they have the same heroes - be they red or green. There is absolutely no doubt that this what Kelly would have wanted.

I think it was the best speech Turei has done - she loved the bigger crowd, and she is closer to power then she ever has been before.

Little was in good form too. He got personal about his cancer struggle and his fears for his teenage son Cam's generation not being able to buy a home.

Sure, there are lots of hard questions about the Labour-Green alliance. They will come.

But the way the two tribes came together is crucial. The reality is, that in the liberal left stronghold of Mt Albert, red and green are the same. This election they are together.

Today it did not look like a political marriage of convenience - it looked like the reality.

Sure there were no policy details, but today was all about the vibe.

And the vibe for the Labour-Green alliance was the best vibe I have seen in years.

Patrick Gower is Newshub's political editor.