The latest Fairfax/Ipsos poll shows that Labour’s woe continue despite selecting the new messiah to save their flagging fortunes.
David Cunliffe’s dream start as Labour leader has failed to derail John Keyâ€™s push for a third term.
Thatâ€™s the message from a new Fairfax Media-Ipsos poll that shows theÂ gap between the two big parties, which narrowed in the wake of Labourâ€™s leadership â€˜â€˜primaryâ€™â€™, has reversed, leaving National on track to win the next election.
Labour is up two percentage points to 33.6 per cent since the last Fairfax poll, completed in August before the leadership spill that saw Cunliffe replace David Shearer.
But National is also up two points, and holds a huge 17-point lead over Labour, winning the backing of more than 50 per cent of committed voters.
On the latest poll numbers, National would win 63 seats in a 124-seat Parliament and be able to govern alone, assuming an overhang from minor parties holding their electorate seats.
That will be a major blow to Labourâ€™s morale, after a series of polls since Cunliffe took up the reins showed National slipping into the mid-40s and the combined Labour-Green bloc having the numbers to win power.
Labourâ€™s small rise since August seems to have come at the expense of its main ally, with the Greens down 1.6 percentage points to 10.7 per cent during a period when co-leader Russel Norman was overseas and out of the media spotlight.
NZ First slid slightly to 2.3 per cent and the Conservatives â€“ currently being talked up by John Key as a potential coalition partner, languished at 0.7 per cent, against 1.4 per cent in August.
Mana and the Maori Party were also on 0.7 per cent, while ACT and UnitedFuture barely registered at 0.1 per cent apiece.