Dirty start to campaign hurts Labour, National - poll

Published: 6:12PM Sunday August 17, 2014 Source: ONE News

The dirty start to the election campaign has hurt both major parties in the latest ONE News Colmar Brunton poll.

And the surprise mover is the Internet Mana party, now within striking distance of the 5% threshold.

With fired-up students, race-based jokes, and burning of effigies, the campaign has fired up early.

And that was before Nicky Hager dropped his bombshell book, Dirty Politics.

Tonight's poll was taken just prior to the release of the book.

It shows National still in the box seat, with 50%, but down 2 points. Labour is also down 2 points to 26%. The Greens have moved up 1% to 11%, while New Zealand First has moved up 1% to hit the magical 5% mark.

But the big mover is the Internet Mana party which has doubled in support to 4%. The Conservatives are steady on 2%, while the Maori Party, and Act remain on 1%.

At 4%, and assuming Hone Harawira hold his seat, Internet Mana could bring in five MPs, including John Minto and Annette Sykes.

Internet Party leader Laila Harre says the party is "sensing a real mood for change".

However, on the poll numbers, National could still govern alone with 62 MPs. Labour would have 31, the Greens 13 and New Zealand First seven. The Maori Party would have three, while Act and United Future would have one apiece, assuming they win in Epsom and Ohariu.

Prime Minister John Key says the polls will tighten up a bit.

"There's a lot that's going to happen in the next five weeks and if the first week's anything to go by, put your seatbelt on.

ONE News political reporter Katie Bradford says the poll result is not good news for Labour as it slips further and further away from the 30% mark.

"Look, there's polls all over the place. Most of them have us going up at the moment. I think that's quite unusual. I'm not at all bothered by it. I know the one that matters is on the 30th of September," says Labour leader David Cunliffe.

When it comes to the preferred prime minister, there's a small boost for David Cunliffe, up 2% to 10% support. John Key takes a hit, down 3% to 45%.

"So, five weeks to go and National remains firmly in control," Bradford says.

But with the allegations in the Hager book still swirling, John Key still has plenty to worry about, she says.