The original of this post is here.
National retains a smallish polling lead over the left bloc of around four points. But Winston Peters and New Zealand First are starting their surge toward the 5% threshold. If they cross that threshold it would complicate the post-election picture enormously.
One added element to account for, though, is the increasing evidence of a modest mismatch between poll-based estimates of popularity and actual popularity in elections. Gavin White from UMR showed a few weeks ago that there are some important patterns of apparent bias in the polls. Specifically, the final polls before our MMP elections have tended, on average, to poll:
If we apply those possible biases to the latest Poll of Polls, we get a projected election result that looks something like this:
Still a small bloc-level advantage to National, but close. And post-election it would be all down to Winston.