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Alex's election diary: Latest Herald poll shows NZ First at 4.9%, but TV polls show them lower; National falls, but can still govern alone
New Zealand First has jumped to 4.9% in the latest Herald-Digi poll, although polls from TVNZ and TV3 have Winston Peters' party at 2% and 3.5%, respectively.
There has been a surge of media interest in Peters, who has been out of Parliament for three years, as the 'teapot tape' saga rumbles on and speculation continues about comments made by Prime Minister John Key to ACT's Epsom candidate John Banks during their public cup of tea last week.
That meeting had been set up - media were invited - for Key to indicate to Epsom's National voters to give their electorate vote to Banks, so that ACT are able to re-enter Parliament at the November 26 election. ACT is polling well below the 5% party vote threshold, so its only hope of returning to Parliament is by getting an electorate seat.
But although media were ushered outside the cafe by Key's staff after a photo opportunity inside, a cameraman's recording device was left on the politicians' table, and picked up the conversation between Banks and Key. The recording has since been passed on to the Herald on Sunday and TV3.
Prime Minister John Key this week made a complaint to the police that the conversation between him and Banks had been private, so should not be able to be published. New Zealand law states a person can record a conversation they are part of, but not a private conversation they are not part of.
The saga took an even sharper turn yesterday when police told four media organisations to hand over any unpublished material they had about the 'teapot tape', and that they would apply for search warrants if not.
Peters on the rise?
Winston Peters, who had been largely ignored by media through the election campaign until the tape saga, has continued the series of public meetings he has been holding around the country. Now he has a contingent of reporters following him due to speculation around remarks from Key about the ageing-nature of New Zealand First voters. There is also speculation Key and Banks discussed ACT's leadership, with some media arguing this makes the contents of the tape of public interest, meaning the transcript should be released.
The publicity has seen him shoot up in the latest Herald-Digi poll to 4.9% - just 0.1% shy of a return to Parliament with a week left to go in the election campaign.
However, two other polls released last night - from TVNZ and TV3 - had Peters at 2% and 3.5%, indicating he may still have a lot of work to do to get back into Parliament.
National is still set to be able to govern on its own according to all three polls, although its party vote appears to be trending down. The Herald poll put National at 49.89% - up 0.4% from last week, and enough to control Parliament.
However, the TVNZ poll put National at 53% (down 1%), and the TV3 poll showed National at its lowest level in three years at 50.2% (down 3.1%).
The Herald poll put Labour at 29.1% (up 0.4%), while TVNZ gave it 26% (down 2%) and TV3 27.4% (down 2.5%).
The Green Party continues to climb, up to 12.6% in the Herald poll, and is at 13% in both TV polls.
Read the Herald's full poll article here. It had a sample of 750 voters and was taken between last Thursday and Wednesday this week. The Herald says the party vote figure is of decided voters and 12.7% of respondents were undecided. The poll has a margin of error of 3.6 per cent.
Read TVNZ's full poll article here. It had a sample of 1,000 voters, and a margin of error of 3.1%
Still searching for web link to TV3 poll (any help is welcome). It was reported on Three News last night and again on Firstline this morning.