Political poll: Support low for flag change

Prime Minister John Key (Photosport)
Prime Minister John Key (Photosport)

It's one year to the day since the election, and the latest 3 News/Reid Research poll includes a shock result.

The flag change is Prime Minister John Key's pet project, but support is not strong.

One year on, the major party leaders were asked to give one word to sum up their party's performance.

"Positive," says Mr Key.

"Progress," says Labour Party leader Andrew Little.

"Change," says Green Party co-lead James Shaw.

"Solid," says New Zealand First Party leader Winston Peters.

As preferred Prime Minister, Mr Key is up to 39.5 percent. Mr Little is up just slightly to 10.8 percent. Mr Peters is down to 8.6 percent. A new entrant is Labour's Jacinda Ardern – 3.5 percent of voters want her to lead the country.

How would each leader describe the year for them personally, in one word?

"Enjoyable," says Mr Key.

"Strong," says Mr Little.

"Big," says Mr Shaw.

"Amazing," says Mr Peters.

As this year's most improved player, ACT Party leader David Seymour gets one word – "wild".

One word for Mr Peters would also be "kingmaker". He's currently media manager for the parliamentary rugby team over at the World Cup.

His latest game is refusing to rule out demanding being Prime Minister on either a permanent or shared basis as price of his support.

One year on, there is one word for how Mr Key is going when it comes to this poll – control.

A year on Mr Key remains on top, which is extraordinary, really. But there is a catch, and that is, as always, Mr Peters.

Even with this whopping poll result, Mr Key would need Mr Peters to rule. It seems Mr Key will find it very hard to get a fourth term without turning to Mr Peters.

As for the flag, there is a real battle ahead for Mr Key now. He needs to dig for a real sales job, with his personal pride on the line.

Mr Key has come up against a powerful force in New Zealand – the Kiwi "yeah-nah" attitude – and it seems on the flag change people might just saying "nah".

Full results:

3 News/Reid Research poll 1000 people September 8-16, 2015 Margin of error +/-3.1 percent

Flag question:

Now you have seen the final four flags, do you?

Want to change the flag: 25 percent Keep the current flag: 69 percent Don't know: 6 percent

Party standings:

National: 47.3 percent (up 0.3 percent) Labour: 33 percent (up 1.9 percent) Greens: 10 percent (down 1.4 percent) NZ First: 7.9 percent(down 0.5 percent) ACT: 0.6 percent (up 0.1 percent) Maori Party: 0.5 percent (down 0.1 percent) Conservative: 0.5 percent (down 0.2 percent) United Future 0 percent (down 0.1 percent)

Seats in house:

121-seat Parliament - 61 needed for majority

National: 57 ACT: 1 United Future: 1 Maori Party: 1RIGHT TOTAL: 60

Labour: 40 Green: 12LEFT TOTAL: 52

NZ First: 9 – holds balance of power

Preferred Prime Minister:

John Key: 39.5 percent (up 1.2 percent) Andrew Little: 10.8 (up 0.6 percent) Winston Peters: 8.6 percent (down 2.7 percent) Jacinda Ardern 3.5 percent (first appearance)

3 News