Election year sweeteners in Budget give National a timely boost in popularity, latest poll shows

Finance Minister Steven Joyce's big spending Budget looks to have given National a shot in the arm ahead of September's election. 

The party has climbed to 49 per cent in the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton political poll and opened up a 10 point lead over the centre left bloc of Labour, and the Greens.

Mr Joyce served up election year tax sweeteners and family assistance. 

"I think the Budget's helped, but what sits behind that is a strong economy which is generating jobs," said Prime Minister Bill English. 

The Budget's proposed tax cuts would see workers get between $11 and $20 a week extra from next April.

So the poll asked, "Do you think the changes in tax are taking the country in the right direction?" 

Forty-four per cent said "yes", 30 per cent said "no", 16 per cent "don't know" and 10 per cent weren't aware of the proposed changes. 

"I think people expect that they will be able to keep more of their own money," Mr English said. 

Labour went into the Budget cycle boosted by a rousing election year congress, but that hasn't brought a boost in this poll, the party at 30 per cent, the same as the last poll.

National has climbed in the 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll, to be nearly ten points ahead of the centre-left bloc. Source: 1 NEWS

"After the Budget you expect the Government, they get a lot of publicity about what they do. They're in control so they get a bit of a bump," said Labour leader Andrew Little.

And Labour's opposition to the Budget wasn't helped when its Green Party coalition partner supported the families' assistance part of it.

"Actually people said that they were really pleased with us voting for our policy, basically, I mean rather than playing politics with the Budget," said Metiria Turei, Green Party co-leader.

New Zealand First also backed the families package and, at nine per cent, they remain a potential kingmaker.

But there's some interesting movement in the minor parties, with Gareth Morgan's The Opportunities Party registering on one per cent after it released its policy to legalise cannabis.  

"I think all of our policies have made a difference. We are really pushing evidence-based stuff that is well researched and based in fact," said Geoff  Simmons, The Opportunities Party deputy leader.

1 NEWS Political Editor Corin Dann says now that the Budget is out of way, expect election campaigning to start ramping up. 

Although right now, he says, National must be happy with where it is in the polls.

The 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll surveyed just over 1000 eligible voters and has a margin of error of +/-3.1%.

National has been given a boost in the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll result. Source: 1 NEWS

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