Ardern’s Labour party has the numbers to govern alone, latest poll suggests

Jacinda Ardern’s Labour party is on track to govern alone after New Zealand’s election in September, a second public poll in a week has suggested.

A 1News-Colmar Brunton poll unveiled on Thursday night has Labour on 53%, well ahead of opposition National’s 32% in the first poll from this company taken with new opposition leader Judith Collins.

The survey isn’t as shocking as a Newshub-Reid Research poll on Sunday that had Labour at 61%, the highest result on record.

However, the result is the same; an endorsement of Ardern’s leadership and the opportunity for Labour to run a majority government for the first time since New Zealand’s electoral system switch in 1996.

Ardern said: “It is pleasing to see that there’s ongoing support from New Zealanders for the government’s response to Covid-19 and our recovery.”

While Labour has shone in the poll, the same cannot be said for their government partners, New Zealand First and the Greens.

The Greens polled 5%, putting them on the brink of missing parliament for the first time since 1999. Parties need 5% to guarantee parliamentary representation.

New Zealand First, the party of populist deputy prime minister Winston Peters, did even worse, polling at 2%, in line with previous dire forecasts.

Libertarians ACT secured a bumper result with 5%, which would grow their parliamentary representation to six.

Collins, a conservative veteran, took the top job after Todd Muller’s surprise resignation earlier this month. She is the fourth opposition leader Ardern has faced since Labour formed a coalition government in 2017.

Collins told 1News the party’s last fortnight, which had featured several resignations and scandal, had been “tumultuous”. “People want those things sorted. They have now been sorted,” she said.

She pledged to make further inroads on Ardern’s popularity. “We’re going to stop that momentum. I’m possibly the train coming down the tracks at the current government.”

Collins recorded a 20% preferred prime minister result, the highest of an opposition leader since the resignation of Bill English in 2018.

Ardern retains a commanding lead in that category too, scoring 54%.

The full results:

Labour: 53% – up three (67 seats*)

National 32% – down six (41 seats)

Greens 5% – down one (six seats)

NZ First 2% – no change (0 seats)

ACT 5% – up two (six seats).

* Figures compared to 1News’ last poll in June

The Guardian

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