Labour leader Andrew Little has dismissed NZ First leader and potential coalition partner Winston Peters as a behaving like a "blowhard" and a "swinging dick" after Peters doubted Little's re-election chances.
Peters said yesterday that Labour's vote could fall as low as 22 per cent, which would mean Little, a list MP, would not get back into Parliament.
He made the comment after a leaked poll by Labour's pollster UMR showed Labour had fallen to 26 per cent and NZ First had risen to 14 per cent.
Speaking to the Herald this afternoon, Little responded strongly.
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"Listen, Winston is a very colourful character in New Zealand politics and he's got some principles too.
"But he is a blowhard and this is blowhard politics.
"In the end this election isn't going to be fought on the basis of swinging dicks it is going to be fought on the basis of what party has demonstrated that they are listening to the real concerns of New Zealanders.
Little said the UMR poll was not commissioned by Labour and had not been leaked from within the party.
He brushed off its findings, saying he was "not at all fussed" because the polls had been "volatile" over the past month. He added that had "no fears whatsoever" that he would not get re-elected.
The Labour leader also said he was untroubled by recent squabbles between the Greens and NZ First, saying that as the election neared parties were trying to distinguish themselves and show where they stood. This "posturing" did not prevent them working together after the September election, he said.
Peters last week warned the Greens of "consequences" in potential coalition talks after co-leader Metiria Turei accused NZ First of having a "very racist" approach to immigration.