Election 2020: Labour steady, National down in latest poll

This story originally appeared on RNZ and is republished with permission. 

Support for Labour is steady on 47 percent, while National has fallen one point to 32 percent in the latest TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll.

The Beehive
Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

ACT is on 8 percent, Green on 6 percent, and NZ First continues to languish on 2 percent, well below the 5 percent needed to enter Parliament.

The previous Colmar Brunton poll had Labour on 47 percent, National on 33 percent, ACT on 8 percent, Green on 7 percent and NZ First on 1 percent.

Meanwhile a poll on the race for the Auckland Central seat released over the weekend showed the contest growing closer, with Labour’s Helen White on 35 points, National’s Emma Mellow on 30 and the Greens’ Chlöe Swarbrick on 26.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern fell for the first time in preferred Prime Minister stakes, down 4 percentage points to 50 percent. She is still far ahead of Judith Collins however, who was on 23 percent – unchanged from the previous Colmar Brunton poll.

Support for David Seymour and Winston Peters was unchanged on 2 percent and 1 percent respectively.

The results give Labour 60 seats, National 41, ACT 11 and the Greens 8. Labour would still need support from the Green Party to govern if these numbers prove accurate.

However, polls have tended to give the Green Party higher support than they actually receive on election day. Being so close to the 5 percent threshold required for a party to enter Parliament without an electorate seat will be a worry for them.

The party will be hoping Chlöe Swarbrick will be able to close the distance in Auckland Central to guarantee their place in Parliament should that happen, but the recent numbers show that is still unlikely.

Labour could govern on its own; future of Judith Collins as leader in jeopardy

Former ACT MP Heather Roy said Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and ACT would be happy about the poll results.

ACT would be able to bring 11 MPs into Parliament.

“A lot depends on the Greens … the margin of error for this poll should be around 3 percent … so that’s problematic,” she told Checkpoint.

“It’s interesting to look at the wasted votes – a New Zealand First vote is technically now looking increasingly like being wasted.”

About 6 percent of wasted votes would be redistributed, she said, adding that “Labour could potentially govern on its own”.

“We’ve got an MMP environment now and there has been only advantage by being there with other parties.”

Former United Future leader and MP Peter Dunne agreed that even if Labour did get the majority of the votes, it should settle on deals with its partners.

“Taking out a bit of insurance would be a prudent idea.”

Looking at the results, he said ACT would likely to be the third biggest party in Parliament.

“The party is going to have a substantial number of additional MPs and will be the third party in Parliament.”

He said the Greens ought to be worried about their standing at 6 percent because “they’ve got this historical tendency to overperform in polls and underperform on election day so, I think they could still be hovering on the cusp … that would throw the numbers completely out of the window if they were to lose all their seats”.

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National leader Judith Collins and Labour leader Jacinda Ardern. Photo: RNZ / Getty Images

Dunne doesn’t believe the Māori Party will get into Parliament despite their progress in the polls.

“They will be securing a base for recovery in the longer term but I don’t think they are going to win a constituency seat and they are certainly not going to get the 5 percent, they never have done. It’s still going to be a battle for them but I don’t think they are going to make it this time.”

Roy said Rawiri Waititi, the Māori Party candidate for Waiariki, was not one to overlook.

“The Māori Party candidate is certainly consolidating his support there and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he might not win against Tāmati Coffey. If that happens, that will bring the Māori Party in with an overhang – that would mean there would be 121 seats in Parliament – makes it just that wee bit harder for Labour to sneak across on their own if the rest of the wasted vote largely goes to them.”

Speaking of an overhang, Dunne said there was a possibility National could have a “two or three-seat overhang if it holds the bulk of its constituency seats” which would make it harder for Labour to govern by itself.

As for National leader Judith Collins’ survival in the leadership, he said she was “holding the line at the moment”.

“If she doesn’t achieve a credible result – just from even what we’ve seen this week – her position becomes difficult to sustain long term. Watch Christopher Luxon.”

Chiming in in agreement was Roy who said: “Yes watch Christopher Luxon. If she [Judith Collins] couldn’t get what the National caucus considers to be a credible result, she’ll be in trouble.”

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