Four days out from the election, Winston Peters continues to dismiss polling suggesting he's leaving Parliament, instead urging voters to vote New Zealand First to avoid a "Green and Labour nightmare".
The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll, conducted in late September, shows NZ First on 1.9 percent, far below the 5 percent threshold required to enter Parliament without an electorate seat. That's backed up by last week's Colmar Brunton poll, showing the party on 2 percent. However, that poll did have NZ First up 1 percent on the poll a week before.
Peters always rallies against the polls during election campaigns and his party does typically do better on election night. Accordingly, it's not surprising he dismissed the latest results when asked about them on The AM Show on Tuesday.
"I have been to Warsaw. It is the capital of Poland. That's where Poles live. That's all I do when I talk about polls. All the rest is just ridiculous," he said.
"Can we get on with it rather than wasting our time with what I might call witchcraft that seems to accompany modern politics. It is of no value to anyone."
The veteran politician, who has been touring New Zealand for the last month on his 'Back Your Future' bus, is expecting a surge for NZ First in the coming days.
The Newshub-Reid Research poll showed National and Act had 47 seats between them, 14 down on the 61 needed.
"More and more people are saying, and they do the mathematics, there is no way that National and Act can make it," Peters told The AM Show.
"So, we better get back and buy ourselves some guaranteed influence in the next government because we don't want a Green and Labour nightmare, with a massive lurch to the left. That's going to happen.
"We have got the record. Whether it be in foreign affairs and the massive drive in the Pacific for this country's status, or whether it comes to the Provincial Growth Fund and the massive investment in the provinces, or plain old experience [and] common sense. We have got that in oodles."
The AM Show host Duncan Garner questioned why Peters was criticising a potential Labour-Greens government when he has just spent the last three years working with the parties.
Peters said Garner and his colleagues should "get over yourselves".
"On October 6, we had passed, as a stable government - which I guaranteed to ensure happened - over three years of totally stable government and 190 pieces of legislation, we are in the middle of a campaign and you are saying 'you have got to keep your mouth shut. Don't you say a word until election night'.
"Duncan, get over it. You know full well we are all entitled to put our case."
Garner tried to push Peters on whether his party would side with National or Labour "if you are in the position of kingmaker".
Peters interrupted: "What do you mean 'if'?. What do you mean 'if'?".
Garner jumped back in, saying he would ignore the polls, and asked the question again as if Peters had secured himself the kingmaker position.
But Peters was still not having it.
"Don't you ever go and eat the wrong food or the wrong drink, because you mentioned the polls now eight times, and you say you don't wanna talk about them, but you have got back to them again. Just cut to the chase mate. We have only got a short time here and the campaign of issues is gonna close very rapidly."
Once again, Garner tried to get an answer out of the NZ First leader.
"When you are in the kingmaker role, in the position to choose between Labour and National, who would you prefer to go with, given you have just worked with Jacinda Ardern and, frankly, quite well over the last three years and quite constructively," Garner said.
"Would you prefer to continue that relationship with Jacinda Ardern or would you like to reach out to Judith Collins, who I think has ruled you out."
Peters replied, pointing out that, despite National ruling his party out as a potential partner post-election, a new Newshub-Reid Research poll found 37 percent of National voters wanted Collins to open the door to working with NZ First.
Garner said it was a simple question, but Peters still wouldn't answer.
"You were going so well until you decided to act like an Oxford Don... The reality is, my party has never decided before an election until the voters have voted," he said.
"For 27 years, we have never, ever, until the caucus has met, until the board has met, decided, until we have had a decent party discussion. It's called democracy, Duncan."
He accused other political parties of conspiring behind the public's back before the election and believes some in Labour want NZ First to return to Parliament so they aren't reliant on the Greens.
Peters was also asked further on in the interview what his plans were if he didn't return to Parliament. Unsurprisingly, he didn't answer.
Instead, he rallied against the Greens' proposed wealth tax and pointed out the holes in multiple other political parties' fiscal plans.