The Northland by-election count is under way.
Looks like Winston Peters is going to coast home. He is already 1,500 votes ahead.
If he does win, I suspect the left will collectively go into a fresh fit of insanity. You can almost understand. Any sort of victory over John Key and National has been a long time coming. Helen Clark couldn't do it. Phil Goff couldn't do it. David Shearer didn't get the chance to do it. David Cunliffe couldn't do it. Andrew Little, while coming across as affable and competent, hasn't thus far shown much sign of doing it.
Who else, then, but Winston, could do it?
But let's not get over-excited. Yes, a Peters victory will see the National led government lose its majority. But that is all. The only difference is that Winston Peters will now be part of that government.
Don't, for a moment, delude yourself into thinking that Peters is one of us or that he will use his new power to bring the government down. He isn't interested in that. He wants to be the government. He wants those baubles, and John Key will happily hand them out to him.
The message from Northland is not a warning to John Key that his time is up; it is really a bitter dispatch for Labour - If Peters can do this with noting but a twinkle in his eye and good hair, why the Hell have Labour found National so impervious?