National a point ahead of Lab/Green bloc in Newshub poll

Abandoning its upbeat joggers ad in favour of a negative "Let's tax this" clip, and pushing the boundaries around the "fiscal hole" appears to have worked for National against the relentlessly positive but sometimes vague Jacinda Ardern.

But given the MMP environment, the race is still very tight.

The final major poll of the election cycle, from Newshub-Reid Researc,h has National (45.8%) maintaining a solid lead over Labour but only a point ahead of the combined Labour-Greens bloc on 44.4% (scroll down for charts).

And after a rollercoaster few weeks, things, the bottom line remains the same: NZ First as kingmaker.

NZ First leader Winston Peters has indicated he will talk to the party with the largest percentage of the vote first "by convention."

But Otago University law professor Andrew Geddis says the only rule that applies is getting to a 61-vote majority; Mr Peters could talk to whomever he likes after results come in on Saturday, in any order.

Tonight's Newshub-Reid Research poll also saw it fall back into sync with the rival 1 News-Colmar Burnton survey after the two diverged last week.

Newshub's results:

And here's 1 News-Colmar Brunton's take from last night:

Translated into seats, last night's 1 News-Colmar Brunton poll would give National 58 and its allies ACT and the Maori Party one each for a total of 60.

The total size of the new parliament will depend on overhang but 61 will be the bare minimum required for a majority.

That would mean National would have to run to NZ First (six seats). Labour would have 46 and the Greens nine seats according to Colmar Brunton's result.

Both polls were released against the backdrop of heavy advance voting. Just under one in three registered voters has cast an early ballot.

And here's RNZ's final poll-of-polls:

Read an analysis of how final-week polls compared to the actual 2014 election day result here.

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