National is within spitting distance of 50% support, according to the latest poll.
A Fairfax-Ipsos survey (full results here) finds:
National: 49.4% (Oct 2013 Fairfax-Ipsos poll: 50.2%)
Labour: 31.8% (33.6%)
Greens: 10.00% (10.7%)
NZ First: 3.6% (2.3%)
Other parties were in margin-of-error territories, led by Colin Craig's Conservatives, which was up 1.3% to 2%. Kim Dotcom's putative Internet Party drew no support.
In a now familiar patten, the poll found a new Labour policy holding a degree of appeal (48.5% supported the $60/week baby bonus scheme) but without translating to any bounce in list vote support.
Despite National's slight dip in support (in the Fairfax-Ipsos universe), more New Zealander's thought the country was on the right track: 63.7% compared to the October Fairfax-Ipsos poll's 59.5%
Assuming ACT, United Future, Mana and the Maori Party all retain the seats they currently have, Parliament would be made up o 124 seats (with four in overhang).
National would hold 64 seats - enough to govern outright.
A National-led government's majority would increase to 66 with the inclusion of United Future and ACT, and to 69 if current coalition partner The Maori Party holds its three seats and maintains its support.
Ipsos polled a representative sample of 1018 people by random telephone survey, February 8 to February 10. The poll had a margin of error of +/- 3.0%.
Its result contrasts with a 3News-Reid Research poll carried out in the last week of January, catching only partial reaction to Labour and National's state-of-the-nation speeches and policy launches. 3News-Reid Research had National on 44.5%, behind a combined Labour-Greens vote of 45.9%. The survey had NZ First in a kingmaker position with 5.7% of the vote.
In January, Prime Minister John Key extended an MMP olive branch to Winston Peters, indicating National was now open to working with his party.
Their relationship has been under stress this week, however, over with Mr Key revealing Mr Peters met with Kim Dotcom on three occassions. TheNZ First leader in turn sided with Mr Dotcom over his allegation that the Prime Minister knew about the January 20, 2012 raid on his rented mansion before it occured. Mr Peters also accused the government of spying on him.
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