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John Key's popularity has taken a sharp dip, according to a survey in today's Sunday Star Times.

The UMR Research poll of 750 people shows the Prime Minister's favourability rating down by 9 per cent, to its lowest level in more than two years.

Mr Key's rating has previously peaked at more than 80 per cent, but the figure now is down to 63 per cent.

His image is believed to have been damaged by the "teapot tapes" saga.

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The Electoral Commission's decision to refer a radio broadcast to police is also thought to be a contributing factor.