Audrey Young

Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Poll puts Minto into Parliament

Internet-Mana would have four MPs on Opposition benches with Labour, whose popularity continues to slide

Veteran activist John Minto
Veteran activist John Minto

Internet-Mana would have four MPs in Parliament including veteran activist John Minto, if its support in the latest Herald-DigiPoll survey were translated to an election result.

But on the basis of the poll they would head straight to Opposition, alongside Labour.

Labour is continuing a decline and polled 24.1 in the new poll. It polled 30.5 per cent in June, 26.5 in July, and 25.2 last week.

National is up marginally to 50.7 per cent and would be able to govern alone with 64 MPs.

At 3.4 per cent, Internet-Mana leader Hone Harawira would bring in Laila Harre, Annette Sykes and Mr Minto so long as Mr Harawira keeps Te Tai Tokerau or Ms Sykes wins Waiariki from Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell.

New Zealand First and the Conservatives are also on the way up as often happens to small parties given exposure in an election campaign.

New Zealand First breaks the 5 per cent threshold and would have six MPs in Parliament but the Conservatives are on 3.3 per cent and would have no MPs.

A leap in personal popularity for New Zealand First leader Winston Peters from 5.1 per cent to 8.2 per cent suggests his party could pick up even more support and hold the balance of power if National falls a few points.

Under the poll scenario, a centre-left bloc of Labour's 31 seats, the Greens' 14, Mana's four and New Zealand First's six would reach 55 compared with a centre-right combination of 67 comprising National's 64 and one each from the Maori Party, Act and United Future.

The popularity of John Key has risen three points to 67.8 per cent as preferred Prime Minister.

Labour leader David Cunliffe has slipped by 2.8 points to 11.8 per cent.

The most significant movement is a bounce in the number of people who believe the Government is moving in the right direction, up from 51.1 per cent last week to 57 per cent.

Mr Peters will not say which party New Zealand First would prefer to govern with and remaining outside Government is always a possibility.

He worked in a formal coalition with National in 1996 and a confidence and supply agreement outside Government with Labour in 2005.

Mr Key said yesterday he believed Mr Peters had genuinely intended to stay outside Government in 2005 but Labour needed him to go into Government - the alternative would have been a five-party coalition headed by Don Brash.

- NZ Herald

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