"The number of voters who believe the Government is moving in the right direction is virtually unchanged from the previous poll, at 59 per cent yes and 32.9 per cent no.

Labour has 30.3 per cent support (down 1.2), the Greens 9.5 (down 0.3), Act 1.5 (up 0.3), Maori Party 1.2 (down 0.5), New Zealand First 2.8 (up 0.4), Mana Party 0.1 (down 0.1) and United Future 0.1 (no change).

As well as the Rugby World Cup, events leading up to the polling included the Rena oil spill off Tauranga, a downgrade for New Zealand by two credit rating agencies, and accusations that Mr Key misled the House when he claimed Standard & Poor's had said another credit downgrade would be more likely if Labour became the Government.

But Mr Key's ratings remain extremely high at 70.6 per cent, which is where he has rated for about a year.

He gained support among males, young voters and Aucklanders.

Support for Mr Goff rose from 11.5 per cent to 13.7 per cent and support for New Zealand First leader Winston Peters fell from 5.2 per cent to 3.5.

National's support is now more skewed to males - 56.8 per cent of men support the party, against 50.1 per cent of women.

Conversely, more women than men support Labour - 35.5 per cent of female voters back Mr Goff's team compared with 25 per cent of men.

National has gained strongly in Auckland - 58.2 per cent of voters there back it. In the rest of New Zealand, 50.8 per cent do. In August, 47.3 per cent of Auckland and 54.6 per cent elsewhere supported National.

The poll of 750 respondents was taken between October 20 and 27.

Party-vote figures are of decided voters only; 10.6 per cent were undecided.

Seats in Parliament

Based on this poll result:

National: 67

Labour: 38

Greens: 12

Act: 2

Maori Party: 4

United Future: 1

Mana: 1

* Assuming Act, United and Mana win one seat and the Maori Party four."

Key could govern alone based on the polling above.