The latest 3 News-Reid Research poll shows that if an election was held today there could be a change of government.
Labour Party leader David Shearer has been facing nothing but trouble and strife, and it’s all come from the home front – a direct and dangerous threat to Labour's number one job.
It left Mr Shearer having to remind himself, and everyone else, what his job is.
“I will be leader in 2014 – read my lips,” he said. “I will be the leader of the Labour Party. Nothing is going to change.”
It’s had some effect. Labour is up 1.6 points, and Mr Shearer up just over 4 percent as preferred Prime Minister.
“I think the Government is too much hands off the wheel,” Mr Shearer said today. “They want a government that is hands on.”
Prime Minister John Key has been away from home hanging out with successful types, in a happy pink shirt in Burma.
But the National Party is down almost 2 points, and as preferred Prime Minister Mr Key drops to 37.4 percent – his lowest point ever since becoming National leader in 2006.
“As Prime Minister you've got to make some tough decisions,” said Mr Key. “And that has an implication on people. I understand that completely.”
If this was the result on election night, there could be change of Government.
The Maori Party are key. They would hold the balance of power.
“It’s going to be a very tight race in 2014,” said Mr Key. “And I think what really New Zealanders are going to have to think about when they go into that election is: do they really want Labour and the Greens and New Zealand First?”
“We believe in another two years we'll be well and truly over that threshold,” said Mr Shearer. “But right now the trend is looking good.”
3 News also asked how the leaders are performing. Fewer people think Mr Key is doing a good job – 51.9 percent, which is a drop of 3.1 pecent. But slightly less people also think he's doing poorly – down a point to 29.4 percent.
Less people think Mr Shearer is doing well. That's down to 31.6 percent. And more people think Mr Shearer's doing a poor job, at 34.4 percent – that's a 2.9 percent rise.
So the shine on National and Mr Key continues to dull after its off-colour year, with a gloomy economic outlook.
And while Labour hogged the headlines, for many of the wrong reasons, it did remind people that a guy called Mr Shearer is hanging in there.