National leader Christopher Luxon is keeping the option of working with Winston Peters warm, a necessary move, according to our latest Newshub-Reid Research poll.
Both Labour and National have taken a dive, while Peters' New Zealand First has crossed the threshold. He's coming back to Parliament on these numbers and the Kingmaker crown is sitting atop his head once more.
Peters has clawed his way past the threshold and Luxon's path to power lies in his hands.
Chris Hipkins has failed to turn the red ship around. It's still sinking at 26.5 percent. That's only down 0.3, but anything but up is a catastrophe this late in the campaign.
National's had the wind knocked out of its sails too. It's on 39.1 percent, down 1.8.
ACT's acting up has crashed its vote with a mighty tumble down to the single digits at 8.8 percent. That's a fall of 1.3.
The Greens are picking up what Labour is losing. It's on 14.2 percent, up 1.9.
New Zealand First has been resurrected. It's sitting on 5.2 percent - across the line. That means Peters is back
Te Pāti Māori's losing momentum, falling down to 2.2 percent. The Opportunities Party is hot on their tails at 1.9 percent and the New Conservatives are at 1.1 percent.
All would need an electorate seat to make it in.
But it's when looking at the seats in Parliament where Peters' power really shows.
Even with the Greens bringing in a massive 18 MPs, Labour's pitiful 33 and Te Pāti Māori's three (assuming they hold the Waiariki electorate) only get the left bloc to 54.
But 61 seats are required to form a Government. Peters has said he won't go with Labour, and even if he did, his six seats would only get the group to 60 seats.
Over on the right, National's 49 seats and ACT's 11 only get them to 60. That is one shy.
It means they would need New Zealand First's six seats.
The reality is dawning on Luxon and he's now made his intentions clear: He will pick up the phone to Peters if he absolutely has to.
The Newshub-Reid Research poll was conducted between 17 September and 23 September 2023 with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.