New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.
New Zealand First would hold the balance power if the
results of the first major political poll of the year were
translated to an election result.
Under the 3 News Reid Research poll out tonight, the left
bloc of parties, Labour, the Greens, and Mana, would have 56
seats and the right bloc, National, Act, United Future, the
Conservatives and the Maori Party would have 61 seats.
New Zealand First with seven seats would decide the
Even if the Maori Party went with Labour, New Zealand First
New Zealand First makes it just over the five per cent
threshold, at 5.7 per cent, up 1.5 points.
The party fluctuates around the threshold in various polls.
It polled 3.9 per cent in the December Herald-DigiPoll
Like most other major polls, the results in the TV3 poll make
some assumptions about electorate seats won.
It assumes that that Act, United Future and the Conservatives
win an electorate seat and that the Maori Party wins two
The poll shows National down by about two points, and Labour,
the Greens and New Zealand First up.
Prime Minister John Key is preferred Prime Minister by 39 per
cent of respondents, down 1.9 per cent.
Labour leader David Cunliffe's ratings are unchanged on 10.8
The poll results: National 44.5 per cent (down 1.9 points);
Labour 33.5 per cent (up 1.3); Greens 12.4 (up 2); NZ First
(5.7 per cent (up 1.5); Conservatives 2.1 per cent (down
0.7); Maori Party 1 per cent (down 0.2); Mana 0.3 per cent
(down 1 ); Act 0 (down 0.8); United Future 0 (down 0.1).
Translated to seats in the House, the poll would see National
with 55 MPs, the Conservatives with 3 (assumes one electorate
seat), Maori Party 2 (assumes two electorate seats), Act 1
(assumes one electorate seat) , United Future 1 (assumes one
electorate seat), Labour 40 MPs, the Greens 15 and Mana one.
An overhang of four seats would be created under the poll
scenario by some parties winning more MPs than their overall
party vote across the country, resulting in a 124-seat
Less than two weeks ago, Mr Key said National would be
prepared to talk to New Zealand First leader Winston Peters
after the next election, reversing the position it had held
for two previous elections.
Mr Peters is not expected to give any indication before the
election of whether he would prefer National or Labour in
New Zealand First polled 6.59 last election which gave it 8
MPs, although one, Brendan Horan, is now an independent MP.
- Audrey Young of the NZ Herald