A bump back in support for the Act Party in a new poll has put National and Act in a position to form a government for the first time in a major poll since early 2020, while Labour's support continues to slump.
The latest Taxpayers Union Curia poll has National on 36.8 per cent (down 1 since the last poll in April) and Labour on 34.2 (down 2.6).
The poll had a bump for the Act Party up to 10.9 per cent (up 2.5) – perhaps helped by a patchy period for National and its leader Christopher Luxon.
It is a warning to National that Act leader David Seymour remains a credible alternative for National voters.
The Green Party on was on 9.7 (up 0.3) and the Māori Party on 2.4 per cent (down 1.2).
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern continues to slide as preferred Prime Minister - on 35.1 (down 1.2) - and National leader Christopher Luxon is on 27.9 per cent (down 0.7).
Under the results, Act and National would get 61 seats in Parliament – just enough to be able to form a government. The Māori Party would no longer be the kingmaker after several recent polls - including Curia and Newshub Reid-Research polls – have had it with the balance of power.
It is the first time the centre-right have polled well enough in a public poll since Simon Bridges was National Party leader back in early 2020.
Labour's further drop in support shows how much work it has ahead of it to reclaim public support in the week in which it will deliver the Budget.
It has come under increasing pressure to try address the cost of living strain on households, and in law and order.
The polling period included the rollout of several pre-Budget announcements - including more than $500 million for police numbers and training.
The polling period also included the PM going into isolation after her partner Clarke Gayford tested positive for Covid-19.
A further poll question showed the cost of living was still rising as a major voting issue – more than 25 per cent said it was the top issue while Covid-19 had plummeted down to 3.5 per cent - from 32 per cent in October.
A total of 48 per cent believed the country was headed in the wrong direction while 34 per cent believed it was headed in the right direction – a strong turnaround from the same time in 2021.
• The poll of 1000 eligible voters was taken from May 4 to May 11 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 per cent.