Key Points:

Labour is still trailing National in the Herald-DigiPoll survey but its leader, Helen Clark, is polling strongly on leadership qualities - and she leads John Key in the trust stakes.

As well as the usual party vote questions, the latest Herald poll also asked people for views on a variety of factors, including leaders' intelligence, competence and trustworthiness.

Helen Clark was rated more intelligent, competent and trustworthy than Mr Key.

Labour trailed National in the party vote in the same poll with 37 per cent support against National's 50.4 per cent.

The results suggest that as Labour is fighting the election on trust, it has a chance of taking some voters away from National.

Asked which was more important - trust in leadership or change in government direction - poll respondents chose trust.

Change in government direction polled 37 per cent, and trust in leadership 60.5 per cent.

Respondents said they would trust a Labour-led Government (45.7 per cent) more than a National-led one (43.4).

And when it came down to Helen Clark versus Mr Key, 48.4 per cent said they trusted her more, and 43.6 per cent chose the National leader.

The fact that Labour is close to National on the issue it wants voters to have in mind when they go to vote puts Labour on the right track for the remaining two weeks of the campaign.

But within National there is some satisfaction that Mr Key is neck-and-neck with Helen Clark.

That is because an incumbent leader is seen as always having an advantage because more is known about that person.

Mr Key polled ahead of Helen Clark when asked who was more compassionate - the National leader registered 42.6 per cent and the Prime Minister 41.6 per cent.

On who was more intelligent, Helen Clark beat Mr Key with 45.3 per cent to 30.3 per cent.

On competency, Helen Clark was even stronger. She was seen as more competent than the National leader by 53.3 per cent of those polled. Mr Key was well behind on 34.8 per cent.Gloves off in campaign game -

* Who do you trust more?

Helen Clark 48.4 per cent

John Key 43.6 per cent

Neither 5 per cent.

Don't know/Refused 3 per cent.

- Herald-DigiPoll