Labour slips further in poll

Labour's support has slipped in the first week of the election campaign to below 30 per cent, according to a survey released this afternoon.

Labour is on 29.1 per cent, the first time Labour has been in the 20s in the 12 years the New Zealand Herald has been running DigiPoll surveys.

The poll will be running weekly until the election.

Labour's fall of 1.2 points over the week may not be much of a fall but it will be psychological blow for the party to fall below 30 per cent.

The Green party, on 10.1 per cent, has its highest DigiPoll rating since the 2002 election campaign at the height of Corngate GE crops scandal.

It would have 13 MPs under current polling.

No other party reaches 2 per cent in the party vote, but the Colin Craig-led Conservative Party has featured in Party vote ratings for the first time, with 1.1 per cent.

That is higher than Act on 0.9 per cent, United Future on 0.5 and Mana on 0.1.

National's polling is up by 0.7 points to 54.2 per cent, which would give it a clear majority to govern alone.

Labour chose not to have a campaign launch but until The Press town hall debate last night, Labour leader Phil Goff had been running a strong campaign according to many commentators.

He began with impact policies to lift the age of superannuation to 67 by 2033 and make Kiwisaver compulsory.

Labour's main message in the past week is that it is taking the hard decisions for future, not soft decisions for today.

National's main policies in the past week have been to ring-fence partial asset sale proceeds in a special fund for worthy capital expenditure; extend the youth wages regime; and to reform benefits.

National held a campaign launch in Auckland on Sunday which was infiltrated by protesters.

Mr Goff and Prime Minister John Key went head to head in a TVNZ debate on Monday night.

Mr Key is preferred Preferred Prime Minister on 70.6 per cent, the same as last week, and support for Labour leader Phil Goff has slipped from 13.7 per cent last week to 11.7 this week.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is on 3.7 but his party support has slipped from 2.8 per cent to 1.7 per cent.

Party vote: National 54.2 (up 0.7 from last week); Labour 29.1 (down 1.2); Greens 10.1 (up 0.6); Maori Party 1.9 (up 0.7); NZ First 1.7 (down 1.1); Conservatives 1.1 (up 1.1); Act 0.9 (down 0.6); United Future 0.5 (up 0.4); Mana 0.1 (no change).

Based on the assumption that United Future, Act and Mana retain one electorate seat and the Maori Party keeps four, today's poll would give National 67 MPs (up 9 on the 2008 result) , Labour 36 (seven fewer), and the Greens 13 (four more).

Today's poll also suggests a huge amount of soft support for the Greens, with 18.6 per cent saying the party keeps others honest and it would vote for them; 65.6 per cent agreed with the statement that they are good to have around but they probably wouldn't vote for them; and only 12.8 agreed with the statement that the Greens moan too much about New Zealand environmental standards.

The poll of 750 voters was conducted between October 28 and November 2 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 per cent. The party votes is of decided voters only and 10.3 per cent of respondents were undecided.

- The New Zealand Herald

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