ACT's David Seymour has given new National Party leader Christopher Luxon a 6/10 rating for his performance so far.
But Seymour told Newstalk ZB on Wednesday the left bloc is still "the real danger". While National shot up to 32.6 percent in the latest Taxpayers' Union-commissioned Curia poll, the left-wing Labour and Green Parties could form a Government - recording a combined 63 seats (the threshold is 61).
National and ACT's combined seats were 53, the poll showed.
"It's difficult to put a rating on it because you're comparing it against [former leader] Judith Collins," Seymour said of Luxon. "When you put a comparison there it looks very good but against the objective of actually trying to shift votes over from Labour and the Greens, who are the real danger here, I think you'd have to come in at around about a six.
"What really worries me about this poll is that we've had a Government that is screwing up just about everything you could imagine - it's getting beyond a joke - and yet after two weeks of overwhelmingly positive coverage for the Nats, the Labour-Green bloc has actually gone up slightly… even with Judith we were actually closing the gap," Seymour told Newstalk ZB.
Luxon told TVNZ's Breakfast on Wednesday he had to focus on "getting the National Party right" to steal votes from the left bloc.
"That poll is positive and encouraging but, frankly, there's a lot of work to do to build that trust with all different communities across New Zealand and make sure the National Party is a mainstream party."
Luxon replaced Collins as National leader last month after a successful no-confidence vote.
That vote came after Collins abruptly demoted another former party leader, Simon Bridges. Luxon has since listed Bridges third on the party's list and given him the coveted finance portfolio.