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National to run 'forward looking' campaign

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/06/2017 Karen Sweeney
Bill English and Paula Bennett © Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Bill English and Paula Bennett

National is unlikely to make any short term promises to get voters on board during this year's general election campaign.

Less than 100 days out from the vote Prime Minister Bill English has promised the party will reveal a "forward looking programme" looking ahead to the nation's needs over the next three to four years.

It's a plan focused on the future, laying out a clear picture of what a fourth term government would deliver.

But it's not clear how much of the programme will be new.

New police recruits, announced by Police Minister Paula Bennett in February, and the government's pre-budget promise to build 34,000 houses over the next decade will both feature in the programme.

"We've [also] outlined the family income package that will apply from 1 April next year," Mr English told NZ Newswire.

"But there'll be more components of a forward looking plan," he said.

If anything in that plan is to come to fruition it will rely on solid National voter turnout.

A post-budget TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll put National at 49 per cent while Thursday's Newshub Reid Research result had the government at 47.4 per cent.

An election day result in that realm would still require continued support from ACT, United Future and the Maori Party, or a new partnership, perhaps with New Zealand First.

But Mr English isn't putting too much stock in those results and if he's quietly confident about National's figures compared to Labour - 26.4 per cent and 30 per cent in the respective polls - it's not obvious.

"I think we know from polls around the world you can't rely on them as a measure of what's going to happen," he said.

"They indicate the country's in pretty good shape but that's not the same as getting the votes out on the day which will take a lot of hard work."

Voters will head to the polls on September 23.

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