The latest political poll has delivered mixed fortunes to the Opposition parties - Labour leader Andrew Little slipped back into single figures as preferred Prime Minister but NZ First got its best result since at least 2009.
In the One News Colmar Brunton poll, Mr Little was down two points since September to 8 per cent - the same as in July and on equal pegging with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. Prime Minister John Key was steady on 40 per cent.
Prime Minister John Key was steady on 40 per cent. The National Party stayed steady on 47 per cent while Labour slipped down one to 31 per cent. NZ First was up two points to 9 per cent - its best result in Colmar Brunton polls since at least 2009.
That is within coo-ee of the Green Party on 12 per cent - Mr Peters has said his aim is to overtake the Green Party to become the third largest party in Parliament. The Maori Party was the only other party to register at one per cent support.
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On those results, NZ First would be the kingmaker - National and its current support partners would only get 60 seats in a 122 seat Parliament.
Economic confidence was also up nine points to 42 per cent.
The poll of 1,002 voters was taken from 10 - 14 October in the aftermath of the Government signing the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement and Mr Key's visits to New York and Iraq an during publicity over the plight of New Zealanders in Australia detention centres.
The polling period ended on the same day as the announcement of a Government surplus.
The poll's margin of error was +/- 3.1 per cent.