Opinion Poll spells bad news for Labour and no joy for National

Jacinda Ardern and Christopher Luxon: Formidable challenges ahead (TV1 News Photo)
Jo Moir

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jo Moir
Wellington, September 28, 2022

Both the Greens and ACT are sitting pretty after yet another poll has them playing a lead role in Labour and National’s fortunes at the next election.

National and Labour will be equal parts happy and annoyed with the latest 1News Kantar Public poll (released on September 27, 2022).

The race has been tightening between the two major parties for months and National is now consistently pipping Labour in being able to form a government.

Tuesday night’s poll is no different with National and ACT having the magic 61 seats needed to form a government while Labour, Greens and Te Pāti Māori fall short with 59. It is a good result for the right but National will be frustrated to have not made any progress in its Party result, holding steady at 37%.

Preferred Prime Minister

On the other side of the equation, Labour cannot form a government based on the latest results but its trajectory is going in the right direction – up 1%  to 34.

The preferred Prime Minister results have Labour’s Jacinda Ardern unchanged on 30% while National’s Christopher Luxon has dropped one point to 21%. ACT’s David Seymour registered 4% and NZ First’s Winston Peters is on 2%.

In a straight head-to-head question of whether voters would prefer Ardern or Luxon as Prime Minister, 47% chose Ardern versus Luxon on 41%.

National and ACT could form the next government in 2023 (TV1 News Chart)

The same question was asked in March and the results this time round reflect a one-point increase for Ardern and a four-point drop for Luxon.

National will be disappointed to not have its leader’s personal poll results improving when the electorate looks to be swinging behind a change of government.

And while Labour cannot form a government based on those results, it will take comfort from the fact that Ardern’s personal ratings are holding up at a time when the headlines are dominated by a cost-of-living crisis.

Power with Greens and ACT

It is the Greens and ACT who currently have all the power in the political landscape with both picking up two extra seats based on Tuesday night’s results, taking them from 10 to 12 MPs each.

In percentages, it is a two-point drop for ACT since the last poll in August, but nonetheless an improvement on its already hugely successful 2020 election result.

Considering the internal chaos in the Green camp in recent months with the membership ditching co-leader James Shaw at its Annual General Meeting, only to re-elect him again – the party will be celebrating Tuesday’s result.

It is now official that point in the electoral cycle where all political parties start to turn their attention to the next election.

Parties who have not already hired their strategists and appointed their campaign chairs will be doing so in the coming weeks.

The Election Issues

Newsroom sat down with National, Labour and ACT’s campaign chairs, and the common theme is that next year will be a true MMP election and the cost-of-living and economic outlook will be front and centre of voters’ minds.

Ardern’s big job in the months ahead is to convince the electorate that things could have been a lot worse if her Government had not made the choices it did during Covid – and continues to make as inflation hurts people’s back pockets.

On the other side, Luxon needs to set out how New Zealanders would have been better off if he had been in charge and what life will look like under his leadership.

Luxon is still relatively untested and needs to connect with voters who still are not sure who he is and what exactly it is he stands for.

As for Ardern, she has the battle of reminding voters why they voted for her in droves at the 2020 election and why they should again, but for reasons that have very little to do with a global pandemic.

No easy task ahead for either of them.

Jo Moir is Political Editor at Newsroom based in Wellington. The above article, which appeared on the Newsroom website, has been published here under a Special Agreement.

The following was a TV1 News Report before the Poll was published:

The latest 1News Kantar Public Poll reveals the Party support and the rankings of the country’s preferred Prime Minister.

It comes after weeks of in-house drama for New Zealand’s two largest parties, with National launching an investigation into new MP Sam Uffindell amid bullying allegations.

The report conducted by Maria Dew KC was said to clear Uffindell. However, the full report was not released beyond Leader Christopher Luxon, President Sylvia Wood and Uffindell himself.

Labour saw allegations from one of its own, with MP Gaurav Sharma releasing lengthy Facebook posts accusing whips of bullying and calling for an investigation. The Party consistently denied this, saying it was spurred by employment issues from within Sharma’s office. Sharma was kicked out of Labour’s caucus and now sits alone at the back of Parliament.

The last 1News Kantar Public Poll in August showed an upswing in support for ACT that could see it working with National to form a government if the results were repeated at the 2023 election. Meanwhile, Labour and Jacinda Ardern continued to dip, with the Party sitting at its lowest level for five years.

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