Labour Slides in Polls as National Party Surges Ahead

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The Labour Party has experienced a significant dip in the latest political poll, falling into the 20s, while the National Party has surged into the 40s. The recently unveiled Newshub Reid Research poll shows Labour is polling at 26.8 per cent, down 5.5 points, while National has risen to a healthy 40.9 per cent, a 4.3 point increase.

Gain and loss were to be found across the board. The Greens raised their standing by 2.7 points to 12.3 per cent, while Act suffered a small decline of 2 points that left them at 10.1 per cent support. Crunched together, these numbers suggest a combined National and Act government racking up 66 seats (National with 53 and Act with 13) could be a likely possibility. The left-wing bloc, composed of Labour’s 34 seats, 16 Greens seats and four from the Māori Party, would only pull together a modest total of 54 seats.

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Unusually, Chris Hipkins and Christopher Luxon stood level in popularity for the preferred prime minister role, both polling at 22.5 per cent. While Hipkins’ support dropped by 1.5 points, Luxon saw a rise of 6.6 points. Meanwhile, New Zealand First flirted with the five per cent threshold required to enter Parliament, hovering at 4.6 per cent.

The political barometer took the temperature of public opinion between September 3-9. It was a significant time period that included the unveiling of many of Labour’s key election promises. When polled about whether Christopher Luxon should rule out forming a government with NZ First and Winston Peters, a split response was yielded. Slightly under half of respondents said yes at 43%, just outpacing the 37% who said no.

The Opportunities Party came in at a modest 0.7 per cent, with New Conservative slightly ahead at 0.8 per cent. The poll, boasting a margin of error of 3.1 per cent, shows a shifting political landscape in the midst of an intense election campaign that could alter political circumstances rapidly.

During this time, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has working to rebuild his support, after a tough interview and a strong showing from National’s Christopher Luxon left him on a downward trend. Luxon, conversely, has been facing scrutiny over how the National Party plans to fund its economic strategies. An interview with Q+A’s Jack Tame over the weekend, where Luxon struggled to answer several key finance related questions, has brought added focus on the plans underpinning his economic promises.

In terms of policy, Hipkins has staunchly disagreed with Winston Peters’ assertion that Māori are not indigenous, highlighting it as an example of the divisive strategy Peters would deploy within a National, Act, and New Zealand First government. On the other side, Luxon has remained noncommittal over whether this stance would prevent him from partnering with Peters in future, despite agreeing Peters’ claim is incorrect. The coming days and unfolding campaign activities promise to cast additional light on these evolving political dynamics and the likely impact on the polling data.