Peter not Dunne just yet - English
He's behind in the polls - way behind - but Bill English says he's not worried Peter Dunne is about to lose his seat.
In Parliament since 1984, United Future leader Mr Dunne has a fight on his hands. Labour's Greg O'Connor, former head of the Police Association, is ahead 48-34 percent according to a poll released at the weekend.
National is backing Mr Dunne, who has been a key Government support partner for the past nine years.
"You look around the world - he's played his part in keeping us stable," Mr English told The AM Show on Monday.
He said he was in Ōhāriu at the weekend to spread the message - a vote for Mr Dunne is a vote for a National-led Government.
"He's won that seat for a long time. I was out there just on the weekend, got a lot of local support."
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While a vote for National's own candidate - Brett Hudson - is effectively a vote for Labour, Mr English says there are no plans to pull Mr Hudson from the ballot.
"He's actively promoting the same message - vote for Peter Dunne for stable Government."
Mr Dunne declined to comment on the poll, but said through a spokesperson he wasn't worried.
Mr O'Connor said it was "early days, and anyone who watches politics around the world knows how quickly things can change".
Mr Dunne began his career as an MP for Labour, but left the party in the 1990s. He's since supported both Labour and National Governments.