Green MP 'disturbed' by National polls

JOHN HARTEVELT
Last updated 14:39 10/10/2011
Catherine Delahunty
MARION VAN DIJK/Nelson Mail
WOULD QUIT: Green MP Catherine Delahunty has labelled support for National "disturbing" and said she would quit if her party went into government with National.

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A highly-ranked Green MP says she would quit rather than see her party go in to Government with National.

Catherine Delahunty, ranked fourth on the party list, said strong polling for National was "disturbing".

At an Otago University forum late last week, Delahunty said she could not understand polls that suggested most Green voters would support a full support agreement with National.

Asked if she would resign if the Green Party supported a National Government, Delahunty said: "Yes."

"I don't think it's going to happen so I don't think I'm going to have to ask myself that question. I don't see why the Greens would because we're not stupid."

A 3 News Reid Research poll out last week suggested 55 per cent of voters supported talks between National and the Greens on a coalition deal. Among the smaller sample of Green supporters, 60 per cent backed the idea and only 27 per cent did not.

The party voted at its annual meeting earlier this year to open up the slim possibility of a deal with National.

The party agreed that it was more likely to support Labour on confidence and supply, and a deal with National was "highly unlikely". It was still "on the table", however.

Delahunty suggested the 3 News poll results were the result of "media manipulation".

"I don't think you can ever under-estimate the way in which the media has manipulated people in this country. I don't think that represents the Green vote. I think that represents people who got asked a particular question," she said.

"We are experiencing a very weird time in this country where I don't think people love the National Government, but for some reason they love [Prime Minister] John [Key]. So, you know, explain that to me. Explain either of those things to me. I don't understand that poll at all."

People who wanted to join the party and argue for a deal with National would "have to fight with me," she said.

"We will get rid of them [National]. It won't happen over night but it will happen."

The Greens, including Delahunty, have worked with National in the current Government under a memorandum of understanding on a home insulation scheme and pest-control.

Co-leader Russel Norman has indicated a fresh MoU is the most likely type of agreement with National after the election, but has not ruled out seeking a ministerial post.

Delahunty indicated her objections were over an agreement that extended to ministerial posts but not over an MoU.

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