Labour has seen a slight increase in support for the first time in almost two years, but the latest 1News Kantar Public poll suggests National could still form a governing coalition with the ACT Party.
Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has remained steady in her preferred Prime Minster rating, while National’s Christopher Luxon dipped by 1%.
When given the option between just Ardern and Luxon as Prime Minister, almost half gave their support to Ardern (47%), while Luxon is at 41%.
In the party results, National comes in steady on 37%, Labour is up 1% to 34%, ACT dips by 2% - down to 9%, and the Green Party is steady, also on 9%.
New Zealand First is steady on 3% and Te Pāti Māori is on 2% - bringing in two seats if Rawiri Waititi wins the Waiariki seat again.
Translated to seats, National and ACT would have 61 seats between them. Labour and the Greens come in with a projected 57 seats, pushing up to 59 if Te Pāti Māori were to join. A party or group of parties need 61 to govern.
Today’s poll is the first rise for Labour since December 2020 when it was sitting at 53%.
In March, the party fell to levels it had not seen since 2017. Then it fell even further in May, down to 35% - its lowest in 1News polls since Andrew Little led the party. It fell even further to 33% in the August poll.
Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said today there was "no doubt these have been tough times, but I am really proud of the way we as a nation have come through it, and I'm also really optimistic about the future".
Referring to the scrapping of the Covid-19 traffic light system earlier this month, she added: "You've seen very recently some significant changes that have been made, only a few weeks ago, that I think give cause for optimism in the future. Things, for instance, the fact we have certainty for the first time in three years coming into summer.”
Luxon said the poll results showed "Kiwis are really hurting".
"They're very worried, they're worried about a cost-of-living crisis, they're worried about a rise in crime, and they're worried about a healthcare system that's falling apart on them."
Parliamentary seats based on poll results
- National Party: 49
- Labour Party: 45
- ACT Party: 12
- Green Party: 12
- Te Pāti Māori: 2
- TOTAL: 120
The poll also showed the gap between Ardern and Luxon widening slightly, when those polled were asked to choose between the pair for who they would prefer as Prime Minister.
Forty-seven per cent wanted Ardern as Prime Minister (up from 46% in March) and 41% wanted Luxon as Prime Minister (down from 45% in March). Eleven per cent did not know or refused to answer.
Jacinda Ardern v Christopher Luxon head-to-head
- Jacinda Ardern: 47%
- Christopher Luxon: 41%
- Don't know/refused: 11%
*Percentages do not add to 100% due to rounding
Asked about her result, Ardern said she does "take comfort in the fact that I have been Prime Minister now, the privilege of this role for five years, and we've had some really testing times".
"But we've come through those and continue to focus on the issues that New Zealand elected us to deal with."
Luxon said: "You've got to understand I'm a new leader and I've still got a lot of work to do to, to get people across New Zealand to get to know me.
"Typically, they get to see me in short bursts, and there's a lot more work for me to do."
Preferred Prime Minister
For preferred Prime Minister between all possible candidates, Ardern remained steady at 30%, while Luxon was at 21% (down 1%).
- Jacinda Ardern 30% (steady)
- Christopher Luxon 21% (down 1%)
- David Seymour 4% (down 1%)
- Winston Peters 2% (steady)
- Chlöe Swarbrick 1% (steady)
National deputy Nicola Willis and Greens co-leader James Shaw also came in at 0.9%.
In August, Ardern fell to 30% from 33%, and while still ahead of other politicians, it was her lowest result since August 2017 - before she was Prime Minister.
"It's been a really difficult period," Ardern said today. "But we are getting into a place, and I think have gotten into a place, where people can feel optimistic.
"We are recovering better from the shock of Covid then we even did in the global financial crisis. That in itself is extremely significant."
Asked about his personal rating stagnating, Luxon said he was not worried.
"Just think about where we were a year ago, we've got a new leader, a new party, here we are able to form a government on the back of these results.
"But knowing there is a lot more work to do. Kiwis fundamentally want a government that can actually run the economy."
- National: 37% (steady)
- Labour: 34% (up 1%)
- ACT: 9% (down 2%)
- Green Party: 9% (steady)
- New Zealand First: 3% (steady)
- Te Pāti Māori: 2% (steady)
- The Opportunities Party (TOP): 1% (down 1%)
- New Conservative: 1% (steady)
- Democrats for Social Credit: 1% (steady)
- Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party: 1% (up 1%)
- NZ Outdoors & Freedom Party: 1% (up 1%)
- Heartland New Zealand Party: 1% (up 1%)
- Vision New Zealand: 1% (steady)
- Don’t know/refused: 13% (up 2%)
See the full results and methodology here.
Between September 17-21, 2022, 1001 eligible voters were polled by mobile phone (501) and online, using online panels (500). The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level. For party support and preferred Prime Minister, percentages have been rounded up or down to whole numbers. The data has been weighted to align with Stats NZ population counts for age, gender, region, education level and ethnic identification. The sample for mobile phones is selected by random dialling using probability sampling, and the online sample is collected using an online panel.