Late poll dip for National 'making them nervous'

Published: 6:09PM Thursday September 18, 2014 Source: ONE News

A slight dip in National's support in a poll in the late stages of the election campaign will be making them nervous, says ONE News political editor Corin Dann.

With just one day of campaigning left, the last ONE News Colmar Brunton poll before Saturday's election has National down one point, but still well out in front on 45%.

Labour is unchanged on 25%, while the Greens have slipped 2 points to 12%.

New Zealand First continues to climb though, up 1 to 8%, while the Conservatives have edged closer to 5% - up 0.4 to 4.4%. Internet Mana has lifted 0.4 to 1.8%, with the Maori Party up 0.8 to 1.6%. And Act trails, down 0.6 to 0.6%.

On those poll numbers, National gets 57 seats in Parliament. But it would need the Maori Party to win two seats and back a coalition with Act and United Future, which get one seat each, to have the slimmest majority to govern.

However, the centre left is also in play with this poll. Labour with 32 seats and the Greens with 16 can muster 48 seats and, with New Zealand First having 10 seats, get to 58. Should they be able to get supply and confidence support from both the Maori Party with 2 seats and Internet Mana also with 2, they too could technically form a government.

Dann says you can't write Labour off even though forming a government would be more challenging for them.

"But National's support is dipping away a little bit in the late stages and that will be making them nervous."
Dann says New Zealand First leader Winston Peters certainly knows how to time his run.

"And if he continues the way he's going he could well be the person who determines who the next government is. And certainly that's what's making people, I guess, nervous because he simply won't say which way he's going to go."

Dann says a big story for election night will be the Conservatives.

"If they get over, and National holds somewhere around that 45, 44 percent mark, then it makes the centre right's job of forming a government so much easier.

"If they don't get there, we're talking about wasted votes, and that's where Winston really does come back into play."

Key clear favourite for PM

As for the preferred prime minister stakes, there may be a touch of voter fatigue, Dann says, with John Key down three points in this poll, but still clear favourite on 43%.

David Cunliffe is down two and a distant second on 12%, with Winston Peters slipping one point to 5%.

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