Jenna Lynch election 2023 analysis: Coalition talks expected to drag into next week

ANALYSIS: Even those involved in the coalition talks can't really put a timeline on things.  

Newshub has been told there are still outstanding issues, but the list is narrowing.  

The word 'progress' is still being rinsed and repeated and no one is willing to tell anyone what that progress looks like.  

National met with New Zealand First on Friday. Winston Peters said they just needed a few more hours as he left that meeting, saying they were closer to the finish line than people think.  

Then he was off to meet separately with ACT, while ACT and National have continued talks over the phone without an in-person meeting on Friday.  

There was some hope earlier in the week that we'd know by now, that they'd have the deal thrashed out by the weekend - but the goalposts have shifted again.   

It sounds like political nerds can take a snooze this weekend and stand down from constant coalition watch.   

Sources are saying it now looks like the best-case scenario might be Monday.  

Some coalition partners are more optimistic than others but there is a scenario that this stretches through to the middle of next week.  

So it does seem a Government is coming, but then so is Christmas.  

Jenna Lynch is Newshub's Political Editor.

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