Prime Minister Helen Clark arrived back in New Zealand on Sunday evening from something of a diplomatic victory in the United States, but that appears to have had little pay off at home.
The government has lost ground in the latest ONE News Colmar Brunton poll and National Party leader John Key is neck and neck with Clark as preferred prime minister.
Foreign policy loomed large last week as Clark sought to deepen New Zealand's dialogue with the US. But back home the political conversation has centred around the smacking bill which has whipped up a frenzy over just what force is acceptable in disciplining a child.
And with Taito Phillip Field flexing his muscles as an independent MP, lawmaking is becoming increasingly difficult for Labour.
So after an intense political month, National scored 46% as preferred party in the latest poll, well ahead of Labour on 37%.
The Greens are in third place on 7% followed by the Maori Party on 3%. New Zealand First, Act and United Future all scored 2%.
In comparison to February, Labour is the only party to have taken a hit - down two points - with little movement among the other parties.
While Clark met the world's power brokers this month, the National leader was more low key. But it does not seem to have done him any harm in the leadership stakes.
Clark is still preferred prime minister, but did not move off her 32% support since last month despite winning plaudits on the international stage.
Key is now not far behind on 29%, rising 2% since last month, and Winston Peters is the only other contender on 4%.
The poll questioned 1,000 eligible voters and has a margin of error of 3.1%.