As a guide to what the Nat's are concerned about, see National's blogger-in-chief this morning, a lengthy defence of asset sales, and yesterday claiming a vote for NZ First means we'll have to have another election. The pressure is on in the home straight - the Tory's know it turns on the asset sales policy and Winston getting back. Theyt know they won't have the numbers to govern alone.
Alongside Winston sits National's other leading line for this final week - Labour would be forced to go into coaltion with other parties making their government "unstable". The first thing to mention is this scare tactic of the multi-headed hydra coalition government is what exists at the moment with National heading a Maori Party, Act Party and United Future Party administration, and secondly that the Nat's have had plenty of their own instability: ministers exiting without explanation, policies like not raising GST renegged on and the only answer to our debt problems has only ever been selling state assets off - a policy they would have had regardless of the economic conditions and the Crown accounts. A stable malaise.
So Labour will be focussing on preventing asset sales. They also must counter the "instability" charge levelled by National. Goff has done this in part by ruling out Hone Harawira - on the grounds he is unstable. I'm sure Hone will refute this in terms of sticking with his principles and having, despite having to bite his tongue almost clean off, had voted with the Maori Party to support National for the first two years of their deal.
However Goff went another step this morning on RNZ and also ruled out the Mana Party. This is different to what he has been saying up to now - he has only said Hone. The middle ground voters who may otherwise be looking at National may be happy to hear it, but how realistic is he being in saying no deal will be done with Mana?
Like Winston, an agreement of sorts will have to be done. The question is will it be stable - will they go the full term? But by posing the question - of an alternative government to National's one - National is itself lending credibility to the concept of a centre-Left government by making that the contention.