Going head to head, One News and 3News released their post-budget polls this evening, and the results are remarkably similar for National, Labour and the Greens. In both polls, National is above 50% (51% in the One News Colmar Brunton and 50.3% in the 3News Reid Research), while Labour sits at 30% in the Colmar Brunton and 29.5% in the Reid Research poll. The Greens have 11% in the Colmar Brunton and 10.2% in the Reid Research poll. Basically, both polls show an approximate 10 point gap between National on the right and Labour plus the Greens on the left.
Labour have now been below 30% in one third of the last dozen polls, and of those dozen polls the highest they’ve been is 32%. Meanwhile, David Cunliffe’s preferred Prime Minister rankings remain abysmal – he got 10% in the Colmar Brunton poll, against John Key’s 43%, and was still stuck in single digits in the Reid Research poll.
So what of the minor parties?
NZ First falls just shy of the 5% threshold in the Colmar Brunton poll (4.8%), but gets a slightly healthier 5.6% from Reid Research. The Maori Party and ACT fail to get over 1% in either poll, while United Future doesn’t even register. The Conservative Party makes a creditable 2.3% in the Reid Research poll, but a less creditable 1.3% in the Colmar Brunton.
Of interest lately has been the combined fortunes of Mana and the Internet Party, given that the future of their relationship dalliance is soon to be decided. Unfortunately for Mana, they’re barely featuring (0.4% and 0.2%), while the Internet Party failed to break 1% in either poll (0.7% and 0.6%). Together, Colmar Brunton therefore gives them 1.1%, while Reid Research gives them just 0.8%.
So how does the Poll of Polls look now?
National: 46.9% (+0.8%)
Labour: 30.8% (-0.3%)
Greens: 12.0% (-0.4%)
NZ First: 5.2% (+0.1%)
Maori: 1.1 (-0.2%)
United Future: 0.1% (-0.1%)
ACT: 0.6% (nc)
Mana: 0.6% (-0.1%)
Conservative: 1.5% (nc)
Internet Party: 0.6% (+0.1%)
Based on those percentages, the parties are predicted to win the following number of seats:
National: 58 (+1)
Labour: 38 (nc)
Greens: 15 (nc)
NZ First: 6 (nc)
Maori: 1 (-1)
United Future: 1 (nc)
ACT: 1 (nc)
Mana: 1 (nc)
With a one seat overhang, the centre-right bloc of National, United Future and ACT have a total of 60 seats, one short of the minimum required to govern. However, with the Maori Party’s one seats, they’ve got a majority.
For the centre-left, Labour, the Greens and Mana have 54 seats, requiring both the Maori Party and NZ First to make it over the line.
That means that it’s the Maori Party holding the balance of power.
Of course, the Maori Party aren’t looking in great shape. They drop back just enough to lose their list seat that they had previously been holding on to, meaning that Te Ururoa Flavell would be all by his lonesome in Parliament on today’s Poll of Polls results.
Labour drop to a new low, falling below 31% for the first time this year, while the Greens drop back slightly as well.
Things get interesting though if the Mana and Internet parties were to merge and keep their combined vote. They’d drag in a second MP on the list (assuming Hone Harawira keeps Te Tai Tokerau) at the expense of National, meaning that National would require NZ First to govern. The balance of power would therefore switch from the Maori Party to NZ First.