Labour has suffered a dramatic drop in support in a new political poll but could still form a government, with Te Pāti Māori once again finding itself in the position of kingmaker.
National has shot up to 40.5 per cent, up 9.5 points in tonight's Newshub-Reid Research poll from the company's last poll taken in February.
Labour meanwhile has dropped 6.1 points to 38.2 per cent.
Suffering from National's rise, Act has dropped 1.6 points to 6.4 per cent. The Green Party too has seen a slight drop, down 1.2 points to 8.4 per cent.
Te Pāti Māori meanwhile has increased its share of the vote by 0.5 points to 2.5 per cent.
The numbers would give National 51 seats and Act 8 for a total of 59, just short of the 61 required to form a majority in 120-seat House.
Labour would get 48 seats and Green Party 10, also not enough to get back into power.
If Te Pāti Māori held Waiariki it would get three seats, and occupy the kingmaker position.
However, despite National polling highest, it would likely on these numbers not be able to form a government, with Te Pāti Māori continuing to rule out working with the Act Party.
This is third major poll in a row to put Te Pāti Māori in such a position, with the Taxpayers' Union-Curia in April and 1News-Kantar poll in March coming to similar conclusions.
For the preferred prime minister, Jacinda Ardern experienced a seven-point drop to 36.3 per cent.
National leader Christopher Luxon meanwhile saw a 6.1 point bump to 23.9 per cent.
Ardern told Newshub the results reflected a "really hard time".
Since the last such poll had been the Omicron outbreak, rising costs of living and Ukraine war.
The prime minister told Newshub she would be running again, and voters asked the question if they thought she should backed her, just, with 50.2 per cent saying "yes" and 41.4 per cent saying "no".
The poll results came as Newshub also revealed the majority of Kiwis wanted the Government to do more to address the cost of living.
Asked if they thought the Government was doing enough to address the "cost of living crisis", 15.2 per cent said "yes" and 77 per cent "no".
Just over a quarter, 26.6 per cent, of Labour voters said they thought the Government had done enough, while 60.1 per cent said it hadn't.
The Newshub-Reid Research poll was conducted from April 18 to 27, and had a margin of error of +/- 3.1 per cent.
Recent polls have also placed National slightly above Labour, the last one in April by Taxpayers' Union-Curia putting the Opposition one point ahead.
This followed a 1News-Kantar poll in March that had National on 39 per cent and Labour 37 per cent. It was the first time National has been ahead of Labour since February 2020, a month before the Covid 19 pandemic tore through the world and New Zealand was plunged into lockdown.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The Taxpayers' Union-Curia poll in April had National climb 2.5 points to 37.8 per cent, just 1 point ahead of Labour, which was on 36.8 per cent, up 0.6 points.
The Greens came in next on 9.4 per cent, down three points. Act also fell, down 2.8 points to 8.4 per cent.
National leader Christopher Luxon. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Te Pāti Māori meanwhile surged 3.5 points to 3.6 per cent.
On those numbers the Labour-Green bloc would have 58 seats, 46 for Labour and 12 for the Greens.
Maori Party co-leaders Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer. Photo / Mark Mitchell
That would put them ahead of National and Act, who would have 57 seats, 47 for National and 10 for Act.
This poll also placed Te Pāti Māori as kingmaker. They would have five seats, giving them the balance of power.
- by Michael Neilson, NZ Herald