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National and NZ First Rise in Roy Morgan Poll

National has bounced back in the latest Roy Morgan Poll but the big winner has been New Zealand First who rise to their highest level of support since September 2013.

The poll taken between August 4 and 17 only captured in its last few days the release of Nicky Hager’s book “Dirty Politics” on August 13 and National’s reactions to it.

National was up two percentage point to 48% from the last poll in late July, while support for Labour was down 2.5 points to 27.5% with the Greens down 0.5 points to 11.5%. A combined total for them of 39%.

NZ First were up 1.5 points to 6.5% putting them a potential kingmaker role with support for John Key’s Coalition partners falling slightly overall with the Maori Party 1% (down 0.5%), Act NZ (0.5%, unchanged) and United Future 0.5% (unchanged).

The performance of the Maori Party, ACT and United Future in their electorate seats will also potentially be a crucial factor in deciding how the next Government is formed.

The Internet-Mana Party alliance is on 2.5% (unchanged). Support for the Conservative Party of NZ is 1% (unchanged) and support for Independent/ Others is 1% (unchanged).

National’s rise in support comes with the latest NZ Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating rising to 139pts (up 4pts) with 63.5% (up 3.5%) of New Zealanders saying New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to 24.5% (down 0.5%) that say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction’.

The New Zealand Government Confidence Rating (139) is substantially higher than in Australia – Australian Government Confidence last week fell to 92.5pts (down 7pts).

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, said the poll put National in an election-winning position only a month before voters go to the polls.

“Most notably however, the ‘fourth party’ of NZ politics, NZ First, has increased its share of the vote to 6.5% (up 1.5%) – a level of support that would see all eight NZ First MPs returned to Parliament, and likely give NZ First Leader Winston Peters the chance to once again choose who New Zealand’s Prime Minister will be,” Levine said.

“The ongoing discussion about “Dirty Politics’ appears likely to damage support for National, however, today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows NZ First may be the biggest beneficiary of a discredited National Government rather than the main opposition Labour and Greens parties.”

Levine said how leaders’ react to the problems facing them is probably more crucial than the events around them. “With the electoral position he is in if John Key handles events around him as well as Rupert Mudorch, he will still be in business as well”.

During the beginning of the polling period Labour held its formal campaign launch and amongst other things promised free GP visits for all aged over 65. Also during the early period the media had a heavy focus on the minor parties and in particular ACT and Internet/Mana.

There was also a great deal of coverage of “dirty politics” in particular billboard vandalism with anti-Semitic overtones and youths burning effigies of John Key.

Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?” This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile telephone, with a NZ wide cross-section of 809 electors from August 4-17, 2014. Of all electors surveyed 6.5% (unchanged) didn’t name a party.

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