Norman wants to join leaders' debates

ELTON SMALLMAN
Last updated 05:00 16/08/2014
RUSSEL NORMAN
PETER DRURY
RUSSEL NORMAN: Thinks the Green party should be allowed in leaders' debates.

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Greens co-leader Russel Norman wants to shake the minor party tag once and for all after the latest political poll gave them another seat in parliament.

The Stuff.co.nz/Ipsos Political Poll has National steady on 55.1 per cent, Labour down 2.4 percentage points on 22.5 and the Greens down 1.1 percentage point to 11.3 per cent.

Based on those results, the Greens would increase their numbers in the house by one to 15 seats, Labour would have 29 seats and National would govern alone with 72 seats.

The Greens have been the only party to grow consistently in the MMP environment and had a target of 15 per cent in the general election, he said.

That should count for something but they were consistently knocked back from the leaders' debates.

"We don't like the way we get excluded from the debates and all of that kind of stuff and if we had our way it would be like in the UK," he said.

"We've argued with the TV stations, unsuccessfully, and with many others that it should be three-way debates with the Greens in there."

The Greens were involved in a TV3 minor party debate last week but Norman said the party was a medium-sized party that consistently polled above 10 per cent.

"I think we lost it [the minor-party tag] some time ago," he said. " Some people still use it but we don't and the electoral commission doesn't."

Norman was in Hamilton to attend a media lunch with Wintec journalism students and said the polls showed National had streaked ahead of Labour.

"National have got, basically, twice the vote of Labour, Labour have got twice the vote of us and then it's all the rest," he said.

"Labour is in a different category to National these days, National is in a category of its own. Credit where credit is due, they are very popular."

He trusted the poll result but the Greens rarely conducted their own polls and preferred to track trends across all of the most reputable polls.

"I've got no particular reason to think the polls are wrong.

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- Waikato Times

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