National Party leader, Prime Minister John Key.
The Internet-Mana Party would get two seats in Parliament
based on the first major poll since the two parties cut a deal
to stand together.
But, three months shy of the election, Labour is still
struggling and the left bloc is well adrift from National,
which could easily govern alone based on the Herald-DigiPoll
The results for the Mana Party, Internet Party and
Internet-Mana Party totalled 1.4 per cent in the survey - a
modest start for the newly launched party which was the
centre of attention in the lead-up to the polling period.
That is enough to get new Internet Party leader Laila Harre
into Parliament if Mana leader Hone Harawira holds his Te Tai
But the votes appear to have been at the expense of the Green
Party which dropped to 11 per cent, down 2.5 points since the
last Herald-DigiPoll survey in March.
That will worry the Greens, especially if Internet-Mana,
bankrolled with $3 million from Kim Dotcom, starts to pick up
Polling began on June 6, soon after Mana and Internet agreed
to stand as a joint force to try to maximise the number of
MPs Mr Harawira could take into Parliament under the
"coat-tailing" provisions of MMP.
Although the deal was criticised by many commentators and
rival political parties, 39 per cent of those polled said the
Internet-Mana arrangement was a legitimate use of MMP while
43 per cent said it was an unprincipled rort.
With a party vote based on the poll of 50.4 per cent,
National maintains a strong lead and is 20 points ahead of
Labour which is up one to 30.5 per cent. National would have
64 seats, enough to govern without any support partners and
10 more seats than the left bloc of Labour, the Greens and
Labour leader David Cunliffe has rallied slightly, although
Labour's efforts to beat the anti-immigration drum just
before the poll began do not appear to have had much
traction. Labour inched back over the 30 per cent mark and Mr
Cunliffe's personal ratings as preferred Prime Minister have
nudged up from 11 to 13 per cent since March.
He is still adrift of his high of 17 per cent immediately
after his election last September and continues to poll lower
than former leader David Shearer did. NZ First was steady on
3.6 per cent - not enough to return to Parliament though its
support tends to lift during the campaign.
The poll indicates Prime Minister John Key has escaped the
fallout from the trial and resignation of former Act MP John
Banks, which broke the day before the poll began. Mr Key held
steady at 66 per cent as preferred Prime Minister. Those who
believed the Government was heading in the right direction
lifted to 56 per cent - the highest since just before the
The poll of 750 eligible voters was taken from June 6 to June
15 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.6 per cent. There were
12.2 per cent undecided voters on the party vote.
Voters don't mind rule
Labour and the Internet-Mana Party want to abolish the
coat-tailing rule used in seats such as Epsom, but almost
half of those polled in the Herald-DigiPoll survey say they
have no objection to the provision.
Asked for their views on the rule, which allows an electorate
MP to bring others from their party into Parliament without
having to reach 5 per cent, half of those polled said they
had no objection compared with 36 per cent who said they
would prefer to see it replaced by a 4 per cent threshold.
The National Party's support partners Act and United Future
have benefited from the provision, although they were not
able to bring in a second MP in 2011.
Prime Minister John Key plans to announce which electorates
National will ask its voters to support a potential coalition
partner's candidate in before the election. He is likely to
give the go-ahead in both Epsom and Ohariu to help get Act
and United Future back into Parliament. He will also reveal
whether National will do a deal with the Conservative Party.
The current poll shows Conservative leader Colin Craig could
bring one other MP with him to Parliament if National gifts
him an electorate seat. On this survey, those two
Conservative seats would mean National and the Green Party
would each lose one.
The poll has National on 50.4 per cent (down 0.4), Labour on
30.5 (up 1), and the Green Party on 10.7 (down 2.4).
Of the smaller parties, NZ First is on 3.6 (no change), the
Conservative Party 1.5 (up 0.2), Maori Party 0.8 (up 0.6) and
Act on 0.7 (down 0.1). United Future is on 0.1 (up from
Internet Mana got 1.4 - the combined total of 0.5% for Mana,
the 0.2% for Internet Party and the 0.7% who said Internet
There were 12.2 per cent undecided voters.