By Duncan Garner
Our latest 3 News Reid Research poll shows national has opened up a near record gap over Phil Goff's Labour Party.
John Key and National are definitely in the driving seat coming into the election, and Labour are nowhere near the starting grid.
The gap is 30 points, National would have 71 seats in the 120 seat Parliament – a trouncing for Labour.
“We are very focussed on the economy, law and order issues that matter, Labour are very focussed on themselves," says Key.
Labour leader Goff has had to go on the defensive.
“Well this poll is much worse than other polls, which show the gap much closer, but it has been a couple of hard weeks in politics," he says.
And Goff is right. Labour MP Damien O'Connor bagged the party's list process as being dominated by a “gaggle of gays and a bunch self serving unionists”.
“The comment made was wrong and inappropriate and he's apologised,” says Goff.
Goff has also had to deal with the Darren Hughes resignation and fallout - a Police inquiry into a sexual complaint by an 18-year-old male continues.
None of this has helped Labour's or Goff's cause.
It's been unhelpful that's it's been a distraction away from the real issues like wages and cost of living so we'll get back to those issues."
But it seems few are listening to Goff.
We asked voters how the two leaders are performing.
And Key romps home amongst those who think he is doing well. He is up 6.2 to 75.8, just 12.9 percent of voters think he is doing badly.
For Goff, 26.7 percent think he is doing well, but almost 50 percent, one in two voters think he is performing poorly.
Key's profile has certainly been high in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake, there are not too many photo opportunities he turns down.
And Goff is now paying the price for a year spent distracted by an ill-disciplined caucus.
source: newshub archive