He ruled out a coalition with Winston Peters and New Zealand First if the party made it back into Parliament this year.
Key also said National would stand a candidate in Act leader Rodney Hide's Epsom electorate.
He wanted National to win the "largest possible vote we can". It wasn't a "strategy" to get enough votes to govern without a coalition partner.
Key said nothing had changed since he famously ruled out an arrangement with Peters before the last election following questions about NZ First's funding.He wanted to lead "an aspirational" government, and there would be no place for Peters should NZ First return to Parliament.
Well done John Key. He's now made it clear that a vote for Winston Peters is a vote for a Labour/Greens/NZ First coalition, which might also include the Maori Party and the McCarten/Bradford party. Phil Goff can't manage Chris Carter, so how could he ever hope to control that lot!