National Party leader Simon Bridges says the party's boost in tonight's 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll shows New Zealanders are increasingly seeing a Government that doesn't know what it's doing.
The poll released tonight shows National could form a Government with the support of the ACT Party.
National is on 47 per cent support, up two percentage points, while Labour dropped three to 40 per cent. The Green Party is up one per cent to seven per cent, and New Zealand First rose one per cent to four per cent.
National has been ahead in the last two 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Polls, leading at 44 per cent in June and 45 per cent in July.
"I think our path to power is quite simple. I think we show a contrast with the Government," Mr Bridges told Q+A tonight.
"I think what New Zealanders are seeing more and more is a Government that doesn't know what it's doing, that doesn't have any sense of direction or plan for New Zealand, that just isn't delivering. And they expect better," he said.
"And of course what we have to do is we have to deliver that better. And I think National knows what to do in that regard."
However the National leader refused to be drawn on his party's coalition plans should it be in a position to form government after next year's election.
He was asked is he pinning his hopes on either New Zealand First or the Greens missing out on winning an electorate and falling under the five per cent threshold.
"No, not necessarily. I think I have a very clear set of options we'll have next year. And New Zealanders need to watch this space," Mr Bridges replied.
Asked what are those options, he said: "I'm not going to go through them."
Pressed on whether it's time to tells voters the plan a year form the election, Mr Bridges turned to policy.
"I'm happy to tell you the plan as far as National is concerned. I think first and foremost it's about reinjecting confidence in the economy.
"And I know what to do in that regard around tax relief, around dealing with the unnecessary regulations in New Zealand, in regard to getting New Zealand moving with infrastructure, all the stuff I don't think we're seeing from this Government."
When asked does he need a coalition partner, Mr Bridges said: "Well, I think that will become clear next year. And as I say watch this space. I think we will definitely have options."
Josie Pagani, political commentator and director of the Council for International Development, told Q+A tonight's poll and others recently are showing a softening of Labour's support.
"Why is that? I mean people think the country's on the right track. Unemployment's low, inflation's low, interest rates are low. So it has to be something around people just not feeling like enough is being done, and when it is being done that it's not being done competently." she said.
PR consultant and former National Party staffer, Ben Thomas, said National and Simon Bridges "will be doing somersaults and cartwheels about this result".
Mr Thomas said Labour will obviously be worried about the downward trend in its support.
"But I also think they'll be nervous about what this means for New Zealand First coming into an election year where they will want the Government to show unity and cohesion," he said.
* Q+A is on TVNZ1 on Mondays at 9.30pm, and the episode is then available on TVNZ OnDemand and as a podcast in all the usual places.