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Centre-left gains in latest poll, Greens surge

Published: 11:14AM Sunday August 04, 2013 Source: ONE News

A big surge in support for the Greens has seen the centre left pull neck and neck with National in the latest Colmar Brunton political poll.

The Greens are up five points to their highest level in over 10 years with debate over the role of spies dominating New Zealand politics this winter.

Resistance to Prime Minister John Key's GCSB spy bill is becoming increasingly uncomfortable but Labour couldn't captalise, even with a welcome by-election win in Ikaroa-Rawhiti.

A proposed ban on men standing in some electorates put leader David Shearer on the back foot and an increasingly assertive Green Party has been the benefactor.

In the latest ONE News Colmar Brunton poll the Greens have surged five points to 14% while National is down three points to 46% and Labour is unchanged on 33%. New Zealand First is on 3%, the Maori Party 2% and Act 1%.

When converted in to seats in the House, it's too close to call. National would have 58 seats and with the extra seats of Peter Dunne and Act would have 60. Labour would have 42 seats and when combined with the Greens 17 and Mana's 1 would also have 60.

In a Parliament of 123 seats, that leaves the Maori Party and its three seats as the king maker, assuming all current electorate seats are held.

But with his leadership under fire, Mr Shearer rolled the dice by announcing a policy to ban foreigners buying houses and it appears to have paid off as he rises one point in the prefered prime minister stakes to 13. Mr Key slips one to 41.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is unchanged on 4% support as preferred prime minister and Green Party co-leader Russel Norman is up 1% to 3%.

ONE News political editor Corin Dann told Q+A the poll result is "stop the rot" for Mr Shearer.

"I think it has stabilised his leadership a little bit at a time when it was looking very wobbly," Dann said.

"I think he can springboard from this and use this to get more strength."

Mr Shearer has performed better in the last couple of days in the House, Dann said.

"He was very strong, some of his speeches were quite good."

We are seeing a slightly more confident David Shearer and that is being reflected in the poll, Dann said.