With the election just over two weeks away, three polls in one day have all recorded support of 50 percent or more for the National Party.
None of the polls show Labour gaining ground, despite weeks of bad publicity for the National-led government since the publication of Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics and the resulting resignation of Judith Collins as a minister. But Labour leader David Cunliffe says only the election result matters.
In tonight's Colmar Brunton poll, National has risen two points to 50 percent, while Labour has dropped two to 26. The Greens are on 11 percent, New Zealand First 7 percent, the Conservatives 3 percent and Internet Mana 2 percent. Earlier today, National rated 54.2 percent in the latest Stuff Ipsos poll and 50.1 in a New Zealand Herald-Digipoll Those polls put Labour on 24.3 and 23.8, respectively.
However, Labour leader David Cunliffe brushed off the results earlier today, saying election day on 20 September is what mattered. "We are getting good feedback on the ground. There is one poll that matters. And in most polls the left right block is still very close with high undecideds."
National Party campaign chairman Steven Joyce said the party's popularity following publication of the Dirty Politics book showed a disconnect between what the public and media focus on.
Mr Joyce told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme that despite strong polling, National was not assuming it would govern alone. National was not expecting the kind of result shown in the polls on election day, and having partnerships with several parties created a stronger more stable Government.
"If you just say you need a particular party to get over the line then obviously that particular party has a lot more leverage over the larger party.
"What we've shown in 2008 and 2011 if you have options then you can form good strong stable relationships and nobody gets too carried away."
Labour's campaign manager, Annette King, told the programme the polls were volatile, and the party was "waiting for the poll of polls" on election day. "We're concentrating on getting out and campaigning and I can tell you that Labour supporters campaign to the very last moment, and we'll wait and see what the public give us in terms of a poll."
This morning's Fairfax's Stuff-Ipsos poll puts National on 54.2 percent, up 3.4 points, while Labour has slipped 1.8 to 24.3 percent. The Green Party has risen 1.1 percentage points to 12.9 and was the only other party to gain ground since the last poll in August.
The New Zealand Herald-Digipoll survey shows National's support at 50.1 percent, which would bring it 63 seats. It needs 61 seats to govern alone. The poll also shows Labour falling, to 23.8 percent.
Among the minor parties, New Zealand First rose 1 point to 6 percent, the Conservatives' support increased to 3.8 percent and the Green Party is unchanged at 11.4 percent. Internet Mana is up slightly, and would bring in four MPs if its leader Hone Harawira holds Te Tai Tokerau.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters disputes the results. "We're enjoying a surge - it'll go all the way to election day, and that's not a matter of arrogance. I think we are owed after 21 years in politics some acknowledgement by the pollsters, where we are concerned, they grossly underrate us."
Mr Peters said the fact that National is rising in the polls despite revelations about dirty politics shows the polls are erroneous.
Dirty Politics, published on 13 August, accuses the National Party of attacking opponents through Cameron Slater's Whale Oil blog. Allegations that Ms Collins had been involved in a campaign to undermine the then director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley, in 2011 forced her resignation on 30 August. She denies the claims.
Poll of Polls
The latest surveys change the averages in Radio New Zealand's POLL of POLLS compiled by political analyst Colin James:
- National 50.2%
- Labour 25.9%
- Greens 12.0%
- NZ First 5.6%
- Conservative 3.3%
- Internet Mana 2.2%
- Maori 0.9%
- ACT 0.3%
- United Future 0.2%
The Poll of Polls is calculated from the last four most recent polls.