New Zealand election might not be shoo-in for opposition, poll says
Next month's New Zealand general election might not be the predicted sure thing for the conservative opposition National Party, an opinion poll released Thursday night indicated, reported dpa.
Although the Nationals remained well ahead of the Labour Party, which has led minority coalition governments for the past nine years, the Greens, who are seen as certain potential partners for Labour, are showing their biggest level of voter support in five years, the TV3 poll found.
The Nationals are backed by 45.1 per cent of committed voters while Labour is supported by 37.4 per cent. But the Greens are on 8.8 per cent, which with Labour would produce a virtual tie in the election on November 8.
Such a scenario would leave the Maori Party, tipped to win all seven seats reserved for indigenous voters, holding the balance of power, and although polls indicated its supporters favour going with Labour, it said it would make no commitment ahead of the ballot.
Even with the addition of two seats likely to be won by the free enterprise ACT party and one by the right-leaning United Future party, the Nationals would not have enough support to govern, TV3 said.
The survey of 1,000 eligible voters carried out from October 16 through Wednesday has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 per cent. A total of 16 per cent of voters questioned were undecided.
Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark is seeking a fourth-consecutive three-year term in power.