Labour Party leader Phil Goff has conceded Prime Minister John Key is a slick political operator, as polls show his party continues to trail behind National by a large margin.
Labour still trails behind National by about 20 percentage points in opinion polls.
Mr Goff says Labour is holding its own in the polls but has to make up a lot of ground.
Asked why Labour is so far behind in the polls, Mr Goff says he had to give credit to Mr Key for being a very good politician, adding that he is slick and professional.
Mr Goff says he takes his share of responsibility for Labour trailing so far behind National, but there is no question about his leadership.
Other Labour MPs going into the party's caucus meeting on Tuesday morning expressed support for Mr Goff and say they expect to win next year's election.