26 May 2014

PM still expects tight election race

8:20 am on 26 May 2014

Prime Minister John Key says he's still expecting a close election race despite two polls showing National leading Labour by at least 20 points.

A One News Colmar Brunton poll released on Sunday had National up four points to 51 percent support and Labour down one to 30 percent.

John Key giving a pre-budget speech in Wellington.

John Key. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

And a 3News Reid Research survey put National on 50 percent support and Labour on 29 percent.

Despite the poll results, Mr Key is playing down the possibility National might be able to govern alone after the September election.

He told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme history shows that under MMP, both in New Zealand and in Germany, that type of result is very rare.

He said the polls need to change only slightly to make the contest between National and its partners and the Labour-Green block much closer.

Labour leader David Cunliffe said polls tended to bounce around and he was not overly worried about the latest two surveys.

He said if the left was seen as a bloc, including the Greens polling about 10 percent, the gap is significantly reduced.

Mr Cunliffe said the Government would be disappointed it did not get a better response to its Budget announcements.