Opinion Poll in New Zealand Shows National Party Far Ahead in Popular Support

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New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key Smiles After the General Election in Auckland.
IN PHOTO: New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key smiles after the general election in Auckland November 26, 2011.

The Colmar Brunton opinion poll for Television New Zealand's One News shows that the ruling National Party is way ahead of others with 52 per cent popular support, followed by Labour at 28 per cent and Green Party with 10 per cent. New Zealand goes to polls on Sept 20.

The opinion poll also breaks the claim of the Internet-Mana Party alliance that it will gain 5 per cent vote share in the polls. The survey keeps them at barely two per cent in vote share in terms of popular support.

The German- model electoral system in New Zealand mandates political parties to win at least 5 per cent of the popular vote to ensure representation in the parliament.

Internet-Mana poll plank

The Internet Party of controversial web tycoon Dotcom struck an alliance with the ethnic Mana Party to face the Sept 20 election.  The alliance is campaigning on a plank of Internet freedom, cheaper web connection, free higher education and reforms in copyright law.  Prime Minister John Key has already down played the claims of Dotcom by dubbing his politics as a way to buy political influence to avoid extradition.

The Internet Party sees Key as the main rival in the polls and put Laila Harre to take on the prime minister in his Helensville constituency.

Youth Strategy

Dotcom has disclosed that mobilising young voters will be its main strategy. Of the 3.4 million eligible voters in New Zealand, half a million voters are in the age of 18 to 24. Within this group, 42 per cent of people do not vote in the elections. So, Dotcom is hoping that targeting this reluctant section of the youth will benefit the Internet party. That is why Dotcom is asserting that his political party will win more than 5 per cent of the vote and its appeal is strong among first-time voters.

Dotcom came into the limelight and New Zealand' s public life after the police raid in his Auckland mansion in 2012, and the subsequent court indictment of it on the ground that the search was illegal.

Born in Germany as Kim Schmitz, the tycoon later changed his name as Dotcom. Dotcom founded the file-sharing Web site Megaupload.com and got embroiled in a scam and was indicted by a Virginia court in 2012 on many charges, including money laundering. 

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