Election 2023: National sets goal of winning 45 pct of vote as it fires up base at party conference

National's been talking targets at its party conference in Wellington.

It's promising to keep itself accountable to six-month targets if it's elected in October.

And it's set itself a goal of winning 45 percent of the vote, but leader Christopher Luxon says he's not really focused on that.

Luxon's job this weekend is to make sure no one's feeling blue about being blue.

"I'm telling you, under a National Government, New Zealand will rediscover its mojo," he said at the conference.

He roused National's members' own mojos with swish videos - because with the election race still neck and neck, it's going to be a fight.

"Power doesn't concede easily. So let me hear you, person on person, will you go that extra mile and do that little bit extra than the red shirt?" he asked the audience.

It had an impact.

"Feeling charged up and ready to go and change the Government," one person said.

"Looking forward to a better future from October 15," another added.

"I'm not worried about it being tight because we can only control what we can control," a third said.

What is in their control is the slogans.

"We will stop the despair and start the great repair," National deputy leader Nicola Willis said.

And the great repair will be built on targets for public services.

"We will report against these targets every six months," Willis said.

While Luxon asked the audience if they want a Government that will get New Zealand back on track, the party's also aiming to get itself back on track. It's given itself its own target for the election - winning 45 percent of the vote.

Our last Newshub-Reid Research poll had the Nats on 35 percent.

"It's a very stretching goal," Luxon said.

The party has not pushed to such levels of support since Simon Bridges was leader pre-COVID-19.

But after promising to be accountable to Government targets, Luxon isn't promising to keep his own party's for the election.

"I'm focused on winning. I don't know if you understand, but on October 14 there'll be a general election," he told reporters.

"It's an internal target for our staff and for volunteers and for our electorates and say let's stretch it and let's go for it."

Getting ready to go for it - just three months, three weeks to go.

Amelia Wade analysis

It's going to be tough for National to get to 45 percent. They're currently sitting around 35 percent and have been for some time.

Christopher Luxon talked today about converting the undecided, but in our Newshub-Reid Research poll last month, just 6 percent were in that camp.

So to hit the hallowed 45 percent, they'll need to win voters back from ACT and from the centre - voters who are often at odds with each other.

National is releasing another law and order policy on Sunday, it hopes will take back some of its base and win over the massive number of Kiwis concerned about crime. So strap on in for more tough-on-crime talk.