Newshub poll: National and Labour in one-on-one fight for power

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll results are in, and the gap at the top is the closest it's been in a decade.

The election is on an absolute knife-edge, and there are just 20 days to go.

National is at its lowest point in a decade. It's hanging tough at 43.4 percent, down 1.1 percent.

Close behind it is Labour on 39.4 percent - up 6.3 percent on the last poll. The red onslaught continues. That rise shows just how volatile the vote is.

TThe party vote has National on 43.3 percent and Labour on 39.4 percent. All other parties have lost votes, other than ACT, with no change.
The party vote has National on 43.3 percent and Labour on 39.4 percent.

A month ago the polls told a very different story. Labour was more than 20 points behind National, and New Zealand First and the Greens were even on 13.

The rise of Labour has come at the expense of the minor parties. New Zealand First is down 2.6 percent, and the Greens are down to 6.1 percent. The Greens are above the 5 percent threshold, meaning they would make it into Parliament, but they remain in survival mode.

So, what does this mean for seats in the House?

You need 61 seats to govern. Neither major party can get there without support parties.

National with its current support partners - ACT and the Māori Party - would only get to 56. Labour and the Greens combined have 57 - still not enough.

Enter the king-maker - New Zealand First. Winston Peters' vote would just get National there, and Labour and the Greens would need him too.

A NZ First-National Party coalition would get 61 seats.
A NZ First-National Party coalition would get 61 seats. Photo credit: Newshub.
A NZ First-Labour-Greens Government would get 65 seats.
A NZ First-Labour-Greens Government would get 65 seats. Photo credit: Newshub.

Mr Peters would face a hard decision here:

1. Go with National - the biggest party - and put the bigger bloc into Opposition, or

2. Go with the Labour-Green bloc - and put the biggest party into Opposition.

Preferred Prime Minister

As for preferred Prime Minister, Bill English and Jacinda Ardern are deadlocked.  

Mr English is up to 30.1 percent - his highest ever. Ms Ardern is also up to 29.9 percent.

Bill English and Jacinda Ardern are neck-and-neck for preferred Prime Minister.
Bill English and Jacinda Ardern are neck-and-neck for preferred Prime Minister. Photo credit: Newshub.

Here comes what might be the closest election New Zealand has ever seen. It is suddenly a showdown between the two major parties and the two leaders.

A new governing scenario is emerging - one where Mr Peters is "dethroned" as Kingmaker.

A Labour-Greens-Māori Party combination has 59 seats. With just two more, it would be a Winston-free left-wing Government.

A Labour-Green-Māori Party Government would almost form a Government.
A Labour-Green-Māori Party Government would almost form a Government. Photo credit: Newshub.

Every vote counts. For Mr English and Ms Ardern, that means every move counts, every policy counts and virtually every word counts.

The stakes simply could not be higher ahead of Monday's debate.

My political analysis is this: it's going to be massive.

The poll was conducted from August 22-30, 2017 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

Newshub.

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