COMMENT:

There were a couple of big winners in last night's Colmar Brunton poll.

National, obviously. The rot has stopped, and some reality has returned. Labour was never on 59 per cent: No one in an MMP environment is on 59.

These are mad times and they were mad numbers. Labour on 50 per cent is still over-represented. The rot of the past two weeks of isolation chaos has yet to sink into the wider psyche of the voter.

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The good news for National is, with the gap closing, it will close more. Because it always does, and because the Government has hit real trouble with their myriad issues around Covid and general delivery.

If you think this won't be a genuine race, you're dreaming.

The other big winner was ACT. The little party that, at last, looks like it could. It would get four MPs on these numbers if David Seymour wins Epsom. When you only have one, it's not a bad boost.

Off the back of a great year with the euthanasia law, and into this year with a consistent pithy opposition-like message, they are starting to get the traction they deserve. And on these numbers, they out-poll New Zealand First. That's an achievement not to be understated given one is in government and one isn't.

The Greens, at 6 per cent, will be relieved, rather than pleased. But what we know about the Green vote is it under-performs on the night, so they still have to be panicked.

As indeed do Labour, because not only are they making a mess of life, if they lose the Greens below the threshold they can't win the election. Yes, New Zealand First tends to over-perform on the night. But when you start at a two, in reality five is too big a leap. And then you're reliant on Shane Jones winning his seat and dragging them across on the coat-tails.

This is still early days - three months is a lifetime. Given the times in which we live, it's several lifetimes.

Only a fool would make a prediction as of this morning. If you're calling it, you're calling because you're tied to an outcome, not because you can read a trend, because there isn't one.

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What we know is Labour are not a shoo-in the way many people think. Both government partners are in the fight of their lives.

And it might just be, if you want an early call, that we end up with two parties plus ACT, and only because of their special arrangement in Epsom.

In other words, on Saturday September 19, we vote to return essentially to FPP (first past the post). If it happens, remember where you heard it first.