A new poll has the left and right blocs neck and neck, with 60 seats each after Labour saw its support knocked back by three points.
Labour fell three points on the last poll to 33 per cent. It is now behind National, which polled 36 per cent, unchanged on the last poll.
Act polled 10 per cent, unchanged, while the Greens polled 9 per cent, also unchanged,
Te Pāti Māori polled 4.1 per cent, surging 2.2 points on the prior poll. NZ First polled 3.4 per cent, down half a point.
TOP rose one point to 1.8 per cent.
The pol was taken by Talbot Mills, who also run the Labour Party’s internal polling, although this was a corporate poll. It tracks closely to a recent Curia poll, from National’s pollster.
The poll would give National and Act 60 seats, while Labour and the Greens would have just 55.
National leader Christopher Luxon’s decision to rule Te Pāti Māori out of any National-led grouping robs the party of its “kingmaker” position, but would not be enough to get a Labour-Green government over the line. Their five seats would bring the left bloc to just 60 seats.
The commentary released with the poll said that in the last “14 polls there have been only 2 clear results with National and Act able to form a government in September and October last year. The rest have been Te Pāti Māori that decides or no clear result”.
“There was no doubt though that the centre right could take more comfort from this result,” the commentary said.
The public mood appears to be softening on the Government.
Labour leader Chris Hipkins fell four points in the Preferred Prime Minister Poll, hitting 32 per cent. Luxon rose one point to 25 per cent.
Forty per cent of people believed the Government was on the right track, while 52 per cent believed they were on the wrong track.
Just 21 per cent of people believed the economy was in a good place, a record low in recent years. Seventy-seven per cent of people believed it was bad or not so good.
“Fundamentals on the direction of the country and the state of the economy remained bad,” it said.
The poll was taken from 27 April to 3 May, meaning it barely captured the drama over the defection of Meka Whaitiri from Labour and did not capture the most recent twist in the Elizabeth Kerekere saga which saw her resign from the Greens.
It polled 1046 people and has a margin of error of 3.1 per cent.
The poll is likely one of the last before Grant Robertson’s Budget will be delivered next week.