The Maori Party will be the kingmaker in the next Parliament, according to Matt McCarten. And the could conceivably go into a National-led government. McCarten's latest Herald column explain why the National Party is putting so much effort into improving its relations with the Maori Party, and may even support their Foreshore and Seabed Private Member's Bill.
McCarten correctly points out that Don Brash couldn't count, while John Key can. What he means by this is that National stupidly 'spent the last election smashing into Maori and cannibalising the votes of his potential coalition partners - Act and United Future. Despite a healthy National vote, it left the centre-right out of power'.
And could the Maori Party really go into a National government? McCarten no longer seems to categorise the Maori Party as being to the left of Labour. Instead, they are, like NZ First, a 'legitimate independent' party, which means they could.