National is facing the "notoriously difficult" task of winning a third term against an Opposition increasingly dragged to the "far left" by the Greens, Prime Minister John Key says.
Addressing an enthusiastic audience about 350 party faithful in Auckland today Mr Key said it was "always difficult to win a third term".
"Third terms are notoriously challenging."
However, next year's election, "is going to be quite a different election to what you normally see".
"Normally elections are fought between the centre left and the centre right. That is not what's going to take place next year. David Shearer has cut his cloth and it is wrapped around Russel Norman.
"But that now becomes an election between the centre right and the far left."
He cited the Green Party's policy proposal to increase the money supply and the two parties' plan to regulate wholesale power prices as examples of their shared "far left" policies.
"If they think printing money works well for them then good luck ... If they think nationalising power companies and stopping new generation coming on line is going to work for them, then fair enough. But it hasn't worked in most other countries in the world."
On the other hand he held out National's record in managing the economy in the face of a series of challenges including the Christchurch earthquake, the global financial crisis, drought, floods and even tornadoes.
"Throughout all of that, the Government has held its nerve. It's had a plan and it's looked to enrich the lives of New Zealanders.
"Is New Zealand in better shape than when we found it in 2008? The answer is yes."
That meant the party was "in the best position we can be, which is to say to New Zealanders, by the time you get to election 2014 you will have seen us for six years. If you like what you see and want to see more of it, vote for it again."