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National bounces up in poll

Published: 6:43PM Sunday February 17, 2013 Source: ONE News

The first ONE News Colmar Brunton Poll of the year shows a boost for the Government.

National has bounced up five points in the poll to 49%, its highest approval rating in almost a year.

The last ONE News Colmar Brunton Poll in November had Labour and the Greens in the ascendancy, after a very tough year for the Government.

But after summer months it seems voters have drifted back to National, and in particular to Prime MInister John Key.

Key kicked off 2013, with what some said was "a junket" to Antarctica, with his wife.

But behind holiday smiles during the trip, an ice cool Key was plotting a brutal cabinet reshuffle.

Two ministers were dumped and Nick Smith was brought in the from the cold.

And it appears to be a winning strategy.

In the poll, National has jumped five points to 49%.

Labour and the Greens are both down two points to 33% and 11% respectively.

New Zealand First remains steady on 4%, while the Conservatives, the Maori Party and Mana are also steady on 1%.

When converted into seats in the House, National would have 62, still just shy of a majority.

However add in any one of its support partners, United Future, Act or the Maori Party and National would have enough to govern.

The centre left on the other hand falls short, Labour's 42 seats, plus the Greens 14 and Mana's one making just 57 seats.

This assumes all current electorate seats are held.

Key said he thinks the poll result reflects that fact government has made a strong start to the year.

"We've got a positive agenda for New Zealand, we're focusing on the issues that matter and people can see where we're taking the country," he said.

Labour leader David Shearer came back from holiday with renewed vigour for the job too, comfortably winning a leadership vote and safely negotiating the annual pitfalls at Waitangi.

But there has been little reward in the preferred prime minister stakes, Shearer remaining steady in the latest poll at 15%.

Key on the other hand has seen his popularity soar five points to 44%, New Zealand First leader Winston Peters bringing up the rear at 5%.

ONE News political editor Corin Dann says that in the face of high unemployment this is a strong poll for National.

And with Key's popularity lifting again, a third term is firmly back in sight, Dann said.