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By AUDREY YOUNG
The third poll in four days shows Labour's support climbing and National's falling.
Prime Minister Helen Clark says the results reflect National's "muck-throwing" and her getting on with the serious business of Government - "the only game in town."
National leader Jenny Shipley declined to comment.
Labour rose just one point but reached the dizzy heights of 50 per cent support in the TV3-NFO poll.
National dropped two to just 32 per cent, close to its 30.5 per cent in the last election.
If seats were allocated on the basis of the TV3 poll, Labour could rule alone, regardless of whether the Alliance, Act, New Zealand First or United Future Nwe Zealand won an electorate seat.
In all three polls - for TV3, One Network News and the National Business Review - National and the Alliance fell and the Greens rose.
Labour dropped in one but was up in the others.
In the TV3 poll by CM Research, the Alliance is down 0.8 points to 3.7 per cent; Act is up 0.6 to 4.2; the Greens are up 0.3 to 5; New Zealand First is up 0.5 to 2; and United Future New Zealand is steady on 0.5 per cent.
Helen Clark has jumped 6 points in the preferred Prime Minister rating to 36 per cent, and Mrs Shipley is down two to 11 per cent.
Helen Clark said National had suffered because of its tactics.
"Their hearts are with what they did in the 1990s. There is no public appetite for that right now. That means new approaches, which they don't appear to be capable of.
"We've had two solid months in Parliament of muck-throwing, with an Opposition without policy trying to get traction on sleaze and innuendo."
Commenting on the rise of the Greens in all polls, she said: "I do believe the Greens are here to stay in the political scene and they will poll somewhere in the region of 4 to 8 [per cent] or maybe 4 to 5 or 4 to 6. They've made a place for themselves in the political spectrum."
In the period leading up to and during the poll, the economy notched up some positive results; Helen Clark's husband, Professor Peter Davis, was criticised over messages he sent via his wife's office and research on health reforms; MPs' air points perks were criticised; Marian Hobbs and Dover Samuels were reinstated to the executive; Phillida Bunkle was shut out; and Helen Clark took control of treatment for Vietnam veterans, and took on the latter day "geriatric generals" on defence policy.
The poll was conducted from April 2 to 8 among 1000 adults. The margin of error is 3.1 per cent.