National unscathed by Dirty Politics - poll

Published: 6:08PM Friday September 05, 2014 Source: ONE News

A new ONE News Colmar Brunton poll out tonight has National emerging from the Dirty Politics scandal virtually unscathed.

The party has climbed 2 points to 50%, while Labour has dropped 2 to 26% and the Greens have slipped 1 to 11%.

New Zealand First is on the rise, up 1 at 7%, the Conservatives are steady on 3%, as are Internet Mana on 2%.

National leader John Key shared a shark tale with kids in New Plymouth today, safe in the knowledge that his own close encounter with the anonynmous hacker known as Rawshark hasn't hurt him or his party.

"I think voters can see that National has got a good record in government, but more importantly a very, very strong plan for the future," Mr Key says.

After three weeks of Dirty Poitics allegations and Rawshark's drip-feed of blogger Cameron Slater's hacked communications, National is still riding high in the latest poll. And it includes Judith Collins' resignation from Cabinet last weekend.

For the centre left, though, this poll is tough.

"This has been a messy campaign," says Labour leader David Cunliffe. "I think the public is only now starting to focus on the policies rather than John Key's dirty politics. We've got two weeks to make sure people knoiw that we're about positive policies that will help them."

When converted into seats in Parliament, National could govern alone with 63 MPs. The centre left pairing of Labour and the Greens could only muster 46.

New Zealand First would have 8, and Internet Mana and the Maori Party both 3. Act and United Future would have one seat each.

"There's two weeks to run. You know in this campaign a day's a long time," Mr Key says.

Mr Key was severely tested at times by the scandal arising from the release of Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics.But his personal approval ratings are back on the rise, up 1% to 48%.

David Cunliffe is up 2% to 14% after his strong opening debate showing.

Judith Collins' chances of one day leading the National Party look remote. The poll asked voters who should take over if John Key was to step down. Bill English is the clear favourite with 28% support, ahead of Steven Joyce on 16%, with Paula Bennett on 7% and Ms Collins well back in fourth place on just 2%.

So for now, John Key looks to have weathered the storm, says ONE News political editor Corin Dann.

"But don't forget Kim Dotcom's threatening a bombshell 10 days from now," he says.