New political poll a reality check for National

  • Breaking
  • 17/08/2014

Our first poll of the campaign is out, and it's a reality check for Prime Minister John Key and National. It is down, while the Opposition is all up, and suddenly it's game on.

In the tale of two leaders, there has been a change of fortunes for both – Mr Key rattled and under pressure, and Labour Party leader David Cunliffe on the up and loving every minute of it.

"This is going to be a very close election," says Mr Key.

"There's definitely been a bit of a turnaround," says Mr Cunliffe.

Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First all went up in this poll.

It has been a good two weeks for the Opposition. The proposed sale of Lochinver Station to a Chinese company reignited the land sales debate. Labour launched its campaign, promising free doctor's visits and prescriptions for young and old.

The election is getting close and the numbers are getting closer.

The poll comes out amid a dirty period in the election campaign. It has been filthy on all sides – a burning effigy, billboards and a bad joke playing on racial stereotypes.

This poll was completed just before the release of Nicky Hager's book, but the first week of the campaign was already septic and each side blames the other.

"It's really pretty disgusting and some of the worst politics we've seen in a generation," says Mr Cunliffe.

"The left has spent all week on a variety of different tactics, which are aimed at smearing the Government," says Mr Key.

As preferred Prime Minister Mr Key edges up slightly to 44.1 percent. So too does Mr Cunliffe, up to 9.9 percent. But what's this? New Zealand First leader Winston Peters – 6.6 percent of people polled want him to be Prime Minister.

Prime Minister is not going to happen, but just a little nudge more for New Zealand First and Mr Peters would have the power.

Full poll results

Party vote:

National: 47.5 percent, down 1.9 percent
Labour: 29 percent, up 2.3 percent
Greens: 13 percent, up 0.6 percent
New Zealand First: 4.6 percent, up 0.3 percent
Conservatives: 2.5 percent, down 0.2 percent
Internet Mana: 2.0 percent, down 0.2 percent
Maori Party: 0.8 percent, down 0.3 percent
ACT: 0.3 percent, up 0.2 percent
United Future: 0.2 percent, no change

Seats in Parliament:

National: 61
ACT: 1
United Future: 1
Maori Party: 2
Right total: 65

Labour: 38
Green: 17
Mana: 3
Left total: 58

Preferred Prime Minister:

John Key: 44.1 percent, up 0.3 percent
David Cunliffe: 9.9 percent, up 0.4 percent
Winston Peters: 6.7 percent, up 1.4 percent

1000 people polled, margin of error 3.1 percent

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source: newshub archive