'Disastrous': Greens on possible National-ACT coalition

Marama Davidson and James Shaw speak to media after the release of Budget 2023

Green Party co-leader James Shaw says a National-ACT coalition would be "disastrous".

It comes as the latest 1News Kantar Public poll shows the two parties would have the numbers to form a government, while the Green Party plummeted from 11% of the party vote on the last poll to 7%.

According to the poll, a Labour-Green-Te Pāti Māori coalition would not gain enough seats to govern.

Party vote results for May 25 poll

The poll, which covered May 20 to 24, followed the release of the Government's 2023 Budget on May 18.

Today, Shaw told 1News the party would "obviously" prefer to be moving up in the polls, but said the "long-run trend" was "holding pretty strong".

"As a smaller party it’s often quite hard during a Budget week. The attention tends to go on the Punch and Judy show of Labour versus National and we kind of get a bit squeezed out by it. We’re not all that concerned about it because that’s what happens generally at every Budget time."

The poll also followed the scandal following former Green Party MP Elizabeth Kerekere's resignation, after she was caught calling then-fellow caucus member Chlöe Swarbrick a "crybaby" when she accidentally sent a text to the wrong group chat.

Shaw said he did not believe the fallout from the Kerekere controversy had influenced the latest poll.

"The vast majority of voters… distinguish between the person and the party itself."

He said if there was a National-ACT government it would be “the most right wing reactionary government that we have had in decades”.

“It would mean that we would go backwards on climate change.

Seats in the house based on May 25 1News Kantar Public poll

“We would go backwards on trying to end inequality in this country, and of course ACT and National have got a very poor track record on the environment, so I think it would be a disaster.”

ACT Party leader David Seymour said he was "very encouraged" by the poll result but "working hard for every vote".

Asked what he would ask for in a coalition negotiation with National, he said it would include sorting out “what the Treaty means in a democracy, make the streets properly safe by dividing right from wrong for a change, and get government spending and regulation under control so New Zealand can become a wealthier country”.

Regarding Christopher Luxon’s popularity - which was 18% in the preferred prime minister stakes - Seymour said he knew Luxon personally and believed him to be “a good person”.

“We can work together.

David Seymour speaks to media after the release of the Government's 2023 Budget

“He’s on a steep learning curve but I think he’s improving as you see in this poll.”

Luxon became leader of the National Party at the end of November 2021.

Seymour said the Green Party was focused on “everything but solutions for people”.

“They’ve been responsible for climate change for the last five years and as you see this year, New Zealand has not been prepared. They’ve declared a climate emergency, but they haven’t battened down the hatches and increased our resilience and adaptation to extreme weather events.”

He said ACT would put money into adaptation and share money with councils to build flood adaptation.

Preferred prime minister results for May 25

National Party leader Christopher Luxon said polls would "bounce around".

“Kiwis are consistent. They want the economy fixed so that we can get this cost of living under control and reduced, and importantly then have money so we can afford the public services that we all deserve.”

He said the election would boil down to who was best at running the economy.

Christopher Luxon

“Hard working New Zealanders didn’t actually do well in this Budget. That’s why we’ve been advocating so strongly to give them some tax relief.”

Labour leader Chris Hipkins also said polls "bounce around".

“It’s a very close race at the moment and we’re out there to earn every possible vote that we can.”

He said people still needed time to "digest" the 2023 Budget.

“The single biggest thing that middle income earners are looking for is inflation getting back under control and interest rates coming down over time. That's what we've been very focused on in the Budget.

National's Christopher Luxon and ACT's David Seymour

“If we did something like tax cuts now for example, the likely effect of tax cuts is inflation would stay higher for longer, interest rates would stay higher for longer and any advantage that people got from tax cuts would be quickly gobbled up by that.”

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi said he was "not too worried about these polls", especially as his party wanted to win all seven Māori seats, and polls did not account for that.

He said the party had "achieved quite a lot" in Opposition, including a funding boost to Te Matatini in Budget 2023 he considered a "win".

"And we'll continue to push."

Party vote

National - 37% (up 3%)

Labour - 35% (down 1%)

ACT - 11% (steady)

Green - 7% (down 4%)

New Zealand First - 3% (down 0.1%)

Te Pāti Māori - 2.4% (down 0.2%)

The Opportunities Party - 1.4% (up 0.4%)

Seats in the House

Assuming Rawiri Waititi retains Waiariki:

National - 47 seats

Labour - 46 seats

ACT - 15 seats

Green - 9 seats

Te Pāti Māori - 3 seats

Preferred prime minister

Chris Hipkins - 25% (down 2%)

Christopher Luxon - 18% (down 1%)

David Seymour - 7% (up 1%)

Winston Peters - 2% (up 1%)

Chlöe Swarbrick - 2% (up 1.1%)

Jacinda Ardern - 1% (down 1%)

Between May 20 and May 24, 2023, 1002 eligible voters were polled by mobile phone (502) and online, using online panels (500). The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level. Party support percentages have been rounded up or down to whole numbers, except those less than 4.5%, which are reported to one decimal place. The data has been weighted to align with Stats NZ population counts for age, gender, region, ethnic identification and education level. The sample for mobile phones is selected by random dialling using probability sampling, and the online sample is collected using an online panel. Undecided voters, non-voters and those who refused to answer are excluded from the data on party support. The results are a snapshot in time of party support, and not a prediction.


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