NZ election will be tight: Key

New Zealand’s National party is holding on strong in the latest polls, and polls show that New Zealand First has the numbers to make a political comeback.


But Prime Minister John Key says apathy is the biggest threat to a second term of stable government.

“I don’t think people realise just how tight it is, there are four other parties that could get together and beat us.”

That was the message Mr Key took to Auckland on Friday, home to a third of the country’s voters, riding on a bus through the city’s suburbs.

Labour leader Phil Goff was also on a bus, travelling from Rotorua to Auckland and stopping along the way to tell voters Saturday is their last chance to stop asset sales and he has policies to help them cope with the crippling cost of living.

Campaign spokesman Grant Robertson says Labour kept up the pressure through the final day of the campaign.

“Selling everything that’s not bolted down and unleashing an austerity package that will needlessly hurt low and middle income earners isn’t the right way to do it,” he said.

The last two polls of the campaign, released on Friday, showed National maintaining its strong lead over Labour – a gap of more than 20 points that Mr Goff hasn’t managed to narrow during the last four weeks.

They also gave fresh hope to New Zealand First after a strong campaign by leader Winston Peters.

The New Zealand Herald DigiPoll shows it at 5.2 per cent and the Roy Morgan poll at 6.5 per cent – both above the five per cent threshold it has to reach to return to parliament.

The Greens, also doing well at around 12 per cent, wrapped up their campaign on Thursday and ACT leader Don Brash closed his on Friday.

Dr Brash’s message was similar to Mr Key’s – a National Party majority is far from a sure thing.

For ACT to be the helpful partner, John Banks has to win Epsom and the latest electorate polls show he’s trailing National’s Paul Goldsmith.

National supporters are supposed to vote tactically and make sure Mr Banks gets in, and when they get to the ballot boxes that’s what they are likely to do.