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National could easily govern alone - poll

Published: 6:13PM Thursday November 03, 2011 Source: ONE News

Labour's high risk campaign strategy has failed to lift its fortunes just over three weeks away from the election, according to the first ONE News Colmar Brunton poll of the campaign.

National has enough support to govern alone, according to the poll.

This poll was taken between Saturday and Wednesday, so it captures all the big action from the first week of the campaign.

National is on 56% support, with no change from the previous poll. Labour has picked up one point but remains on 30%.

The Greens are unchanged on 9% but they are the only minor party with any real clout, according to the poll numbers.

New Zealand first is up, at 2.2% support, still less than half they need to make it back into Parliament.

The Maori Party has very little party vote support, which has gone up to 1.3%, but they have electorate seats to fall back on. Act is down, with 0.9% support.

The Mana Party is also down, with 0.3% support, and United Future is up, at 0.1%.

On those numbers, National would have 69 seats in Parliament and could easily govern alone.

Using current coalition partners and assuming electorate seats are held, four seats could be added in from the Maori Party and one each from Act and United Future.

Labour would have just 37 seats. Even if the Greens getting 11 seats and the Mana Party one are added to the mix, Labour does not come close to forming a Government, according to the poll results.

The poll also asked people who they think would make the best prime minister.

National leader John Key has declined 3% but is still very popular with 56% support. Labour leader Phil Goff has gone up 4% but at 12% is a long way behind.

ONE News political editor Guyon Espiner says according to this poll many people have made up their minds.

"You'd think if the polls were going to move significantly then the first week of the campaign is when that would happen," Espiner said.

"In my view National's numbers looks too high. I can't see them getting 56% of the vote on election night, in fact I'd be surprised if they got to 50%."

Labour's vote is holding, but they need to get into the mid-thirties to be in the race, Espiner said.

"Their best chance of forming a government comes with a New Zealand First comeback, but there are no signs of life there.

"The Act party is also facing oblivion because at less than 1%, National wouldn't bother trying to save them by backing John Banks in the Epsom seat."

Espiner said National would be very pleased with this result, but he would expect them to drop down as polling day comes closer.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%.