By Duncan Garner
The first television poll of the election is out; the latest 3 News Reid Research Poll shows the gap between the National and Labour Party’s narrowing with just 27 days to go until the election.
It comes on the day National launched its campaign for a second term in office and a disruptive start to National's campaign launch.
Protestors marched out their gripe, saying there are too many kids living in poverty.
The protest marks a rocky month for Prime Minister John Key.
He was criticised for the government's slow reaction to the Rena’s grounding on Tauranga’s Astrolabe Reef, saying “we did everything we could”.
He was then accused of not telling the truth over the government's two credit downgrades and his explanations were not convincing.
The polls were always going to close, but National will be nervous.
This is its biggest drop since it took office three years ago.
The gap is still 22 points but once you add the Greens and the possible return of Winston Peters, things get tighter for National.
But the Greens do not think Mr Peters, who launched his campaign today, will make it and are urging people not to vote for him.
National will need every vote; it is why Mr Key is likely to tell National voters to back ACT’s John Banks in Epsom to get Don Brash back into parliament.
We also asked voters how are Mr Key and Mr Goff performing.
Amongst those who say Mr Key is performing well, he slumps just over five points.
And more people think he is doing a poor job.
But he is still well ahead of Mr Goff. More people think the Labour leader is performing well, but at same time more people think he is doing a poor job.
So it is not just the handshake that was awkward.
If this poll is a trend, putting together a government might become just as awkward.