Voters support Key with NZ First

Last updated 18:09 03/02/2014

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Voters appear to back Prime Minister John Key’s decision to consider working with Winston Peters after this year’s election.

Last month Key announced that, unlike in 2008 and 2011, he was willing to consider going into coalition with New Zealand First, although he believed it was “unlikely” to happen.

This evening a 3News/Reid Research poll showed that when asked if Key should work with Peters, 54 per cent said yes, well ahead of 36 per cent saying no.

The sentiment was stronger among National voters, with 61 per cent saying work with Peters.

In Opposition in 2008, Key ruled out working with New Zealand First, claiming a failure to give sufficient answers to questions surrounding a donation from businessman Owen Glenn, a position he maintained until last month.

Key was, however, non-committal about whether National would advise voters in the Epsom seat to vote for Act, as he has tacitly done in the last two elections with symbolic “cup of tea” photo opportunities.

Asked if he would be advising National voters in Epsom to give tactical support to Act, Key said the decision had not been made.

"It's not [the message] at this point," Key said this morning, adding later that MP and former biographer Paul Goldsmith had been selected as National’s candidate for the election.

Recent polls have showed Act effectively failing to register any support. Key said he expected to declare before the election whether deals would be done with minor parties. Even those with little popular support may be important in his quest to build a majority after the election.

“The reality is that when they won Epsom in 2008, that effectively got National over the line,” Key said.

“That’s also been true of [United Future leader and Ohariu MP] Peter Dunne.”

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- Fairfax Media

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