18 Nov 2010

Maori Party seen as close to holding balance of power

9:07 am on 18 November 2010

Former Alliance MP Willie Jackson says the Maori Party is likely to come close to holding the balance of power, if New Zealand First does not return to Parliament.

For the first time, the online prediction market iPredict's weekly snapshot gives the Maoru Party five or six of the seven Maori seats.

New Zealand First is tipped to get 4% of the vote, not enough to give it any seats.

But Mr Jackson says it's hard to make such calls this far out.

He told Waatea News that while National leader John Key has probably done enough to keep the Maori Party votes in his column, Labour's Phil Goff has also indicated a willingness to do a deal with Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia if necessary.