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

Moment of Truth gifts Team Key a late bounce in polls

National's slide in the polls arrested by Kim Dotcom's Moment of Truth, our latest poll reveals

John Key, left, says Kim Dotcom's tactics backfired. David Cunliffe, right, says the election is on a knife-edge. Photos / Mark Mitchell, Getty Images
John Key, left, says Kim Dotcom's tactics backfired. David Cunliffe, right, says the election is on a knife-edge. Photos / Mark Mitchell, Getty Images

The Kim Dotcom-inspired event in Auckland's Town Hall that was supposed to end John Key's career gave the National Party an immediate bounce in support this week, according to polling for the last Herald DigiPoll survey.

With 60 per cent of the poll done by Monday night, when the event happened, National was polling at 47.8 per cent, down on last week, said DigiPoll general manager Nandan Modak. From Tuesday it jumped to 49.1 per cent.


A similar trend was seen in the preferred Prime Minister polling. Before Monday, Mr Key was polling at 63.4 per cent. From Tuesday it jumped to 66.4 per cent.

Mr Key who has led a minority National Government for six years is seeking a third term in tomorrow's election against a Labour Party that has been led for only a year by David Cunliffe.

Mr Key told the Herald last night the results on Saturday "may well prove that a campaign led by Kim Dotcom based mostly on revenge will serve to only reduce the likelihood of a change of Government".

Today's poll also has the internet-Mana strategic alliance funded by Mr Dotcom sinking. It would get no extra MPs into Parliament on the coat-tails of Mana leader Hone Harawira keeping his Te Tai Tokerau seat - and even that is looking shaky.

Mr Dotcom has spent $4 million on setting up the party and funding the campaign.

The poll has the Conservatives on 3.3 per cent, and would not be in Parliament. It has yet to register over the 5 per cent threshold on any major political poll this election.

Today's poll has National on 48.2 per cent, down a little from last week when the seven-day polling is totaled.

It would be able to form a Government with its current support partners, Act, United Future and the Maori Party, assuming they are returned to Parliament.

Labour and the Greens combined would get 37 per cent, and would not be able to form a Government even with the support of New Zealand First, Mr Harawira and one Maori Party MP.

Election interactive: The major policies - party by party

But it would take only a shift of two percentage points from the right to the left to make a Labour-led Government possible.

Labour leader David Cunliffe told the Herald last night said the poll "shows things are very much on a knife-edge".

"It's going to be a very, very interesting election. Every single vote will count."

Mr Cunliffe said he was not surprised that the left did not get a life from the Town Hall event. "It was probably a bit of an anti-climax even though some very legitimate issues were raised."

The event had nothing to do with the Labor Party and the whole thing was frustrating "because we would rather be talking about other issues and the whole event has taken attention away from what I think most New Zealanders really want to hear about - how to get a better living, somewhere to live where they can afford and how we ensure that everyone's kids are okay."

Mr Key told the Herald the politics of internet-Mana had been very personally focused on him "and I think New Zealanders react badly to that."

Election interactive: Every vote, every seat, every booth - as it happens

He said MMP elections were always tight.

"They are fickle and very small movements can make substantial differences."

There was be a lot of "sub-plots" being played out on Saturday night such as Mr Harawira's seat.

Mr Dotcom brought out the American journalist Glenn Greenwald who received and wrote about the thousands of NSA documents stolen by former analyst Edward Snowden, who was beamed in from exile in Russia. Between the three of them and a Canadian lawyer they accused the Government of allowing mass surveillance of New Zealanders.

Before the meeting Mr Dotcom produced an email allegedly showing Mr Key helping Hollywood to give residency in New Zealand in order to expedite his extradition on piracy, which Warner Bros alleges is a fake.

Party Vote results: National 48.2 (down 0.4), Labour 25.9 (up 1.3), Green 11.1 (down 0.4), NZ First 8.4 (up 0.3), Conservatives 3.3 (down 0.5), internet Mana 1 (down 1.3), Maori Party 1.1 (up 0.4), Act 0.5 (up 0.2), United Future 0.2 (up 0.2), Legalise Cannabis 0 (no change).

The poll of 775 eligible voters was conducted between September 11 - 17 The Party Vote is of decided voters only. Undecided voters were 5.6 per cent. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 per cent.

Next trending article - Election 2014: Winners, losers before we vote

- NZ Herald

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