National, Labour fall, minor parties rise in poll

By Derek Cheng

Support for New Zealand First and the Conservative Party has surged since the release of Dirty Politics, while both National and Labour have stumbled in the latest political poll.

The 3 News-Reid Research poll, conducted in the week following the release of Nicky Hager's book, has New Zealand First up 1.7 per cent to 6.3 per cent -- well above the 5 per cent threshold it needs to enter Parliament without an electorate seat.

The Conservative Party has almost doubled its support, up 2.1 per cent to 4.6 per cent -- just shy of the threshold.

Support for the National Party has dropped 2.5 per cent to 45 per cent, and the party would need the support of New Zealand First to govern. John Key has fallen a similar amount in the preferred Prime Minister stakes, down to 41.4 per cent.

The Labour Party also took a hit, falling 2.6 per cent to 26.4 per cent, although support for David Cunliffe as Prime Minister has risen slightly to 11 per cent.

The Green Party had 13.5 per cent support, while Internet-Mana had 2.1 per cent support.

Conservative leader Colin Craig did not think the party was picking up votes in any fallout from Dirty Politics.

"I think the biggest impact is that our second brochure, which has gone out to every household in New Zealand, has arrived. It hit last weekend.

"Polls are a bit slow in picking things up, but it's probably true that leading the whole Lochinver Station deal is reflecting now as well."

Watch: The Hot Seat with Colin Craig

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Mr Craig gained prominence in the campaign when he lifted the lid on the possible sale of the station to Chinese buyer Shanghai Pengxin for $70 million.

The party's chances of entering Parliament were dealt a blow after Prime Minister John Key's decided not to do a deal with the party, instead focusing on United Future and Act.

But Mr Craig said that the 5 per cent mark now looks "extremely do-able".

The survey, which polled 1000 people has a margin of error of 3.1 per cent.

- NZ Herald

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