National's campaign chairman Steven Joyce says he assumes Labour will climb out of its current woes and take the fight to National in the coming election campaign.
That is the same message he will be giving to about 600 delegates expected at the party conference in Wellington this weekend.
"We will be flat out dispelling any notions that there isn't a hard fight to win on September 20.
"Just because the Labour Party are in a bit of a mess at the moment, doesn't mean that we should assume anything," he told the Weekend Herald. "We can assume they are going to get better."
He said National would focus on lifting turnout because he believes it was more adversely affected by turnout last time than the left.
Ten out of the 12 electorates where turnout was lowest in 2011 were safe National seats in which, he believed, voters thought National would cruise home.
He said that while the party vote would always be the most important, National was also targeting some Labour-held seats it believed were vulnerable: Hutt South held by Trevor Mallard, Palmerston North held by Iain Lees-Galloway, Port Hills held by Ruth Dyson and West Coast-Tasman held by Damien O'Connor.
The four seats are among the 12 Labour-held seats in which National won the party vote last election.
Mr Joyce said he would be reminding delegates that the bar for a National win was very high because its potential partners were very small.
"We have got to look at matching the number we got last time [47.31 per cent] which just happens to be the highest ever under MMP and I think the highest single vote for a party since the Waterfront Strike in 1951."
National's potential partners are Act, United Future, the Maori Party, Conservatives and New Zealand First. None has polled above 5 per cent in the past three major polls.
Prime Minister John Key will today present to the conference National's candidates for the 64 general electorates.
Among those almost certain to be elected are eight first-time candidates standing in safe National seats in place of a retiring MP or, in the case of Todd Barclay, replacing Bill English because he is moving to a list-only position. Todd Muller, who is standing in Tony Ryall's electorate of Bay of Plenty, was a top-tier Fonterra executive who will be dropping his pay packet by hundreds of thousands of dollars to become a back bench MP on $147,800. Two other seats are being vacated by sitting MPs, Chris Tremain in Napier and Kate Wilkinson in Waimakariri but there is less certainty that National will hold them.
Meanwhile, Mr Key yesterday said that as MMP matured, voters expected parties to say who they would be willing to work with.
He suggested that New Zealand First leader Winston Peters should indicate when he could work with National or even abstain to allow it to govern.
"If you go into a shop, you buy a product for the most part because you know what it is."
If you go into a polling booth you vote with a sense of what the party is going to do, he said.
"There are plenty of people who might vote for New Zealand First but would never vote for them if they were going to be part of a far left-wing coalition."
Mr Key also said that Conservative leader Colin Craig had put conditions on an electoral accommodation with National in East Coast Bays, in wanting National to withdraw a candidate in such an event. Mr Craig disputed that when contacted by the Herald.
He said it was over to National to decide whether it wanted to help the Conservatives to win and no conditions had been set.
Whether or not National helped the Conservatives, he said his party would offer support to the largest party after the election - which is certain to be National.
East Coast Bays MP and Foreign Minister Murray McCully will not be attending the conference.
He will be in the Dominican Republic lobbying for New Zealand's seat on the Security Council at a summit of SICA, the economic and political organisation of Central America states.