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The good news for the Labour Party about the latest poll is that it still has options - Greens or New Zealand First.
Labour would be able to form a government with either party, this week’s 1 News Colmar Brunton poll shows.
Last week, Labour could have formed a government with New Zealand First alone but not the Greens alone.
The bad news for National is that neither last week nor this week could it form a government just with New Zealand First alone.
There is bad news for New Zealand First, too. It faces the prospect of no longer having a kingmaker role.
And both New Zealand First and the Greens are perilously close to not making it back at all. The Greens are up two to 7% and New Zealand First is down by three to 6%.
It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the next Parliament could comprise Labour, National, Act New Zealand and the Maori Party — no New Zealand First and no Greens.
It is not a probable scenario but it is looking more possible this week than it was four weeks ago.
The Greens have been bleeding support to Labour under Jacinda Ardern’s domination of the campaign.
New Zealand First’s support is seeping to both Labour and National.
Ms Ardern will be attracting some soft New Zealand First vote. But so, too, will National, especially from rural voters.
It is clear that rural New Zealand is feeling under siege from the Left’s prospect of a water tax, farmers being brought into the emissions trading scheme within three years, and now with the slightly delayed possibility of a land tax or capital gains tax.
They are the political conditions under which the rural sector may well be reverting to its old party and turning 2017 into more of a two-horse race.
- By NZ Herald political editor Audrey Young