Poll: Labour could return to power if election held today

By 1news.co.nz and is republished with permission

The coalition Government would be out and a new Labour-led Government could be in if an election were to be held today, a new 1News Verian poll suggests.

The poll’s numbers see New Zealand First plummeting to 4.2% in the party vote, a result that would oust it from Parliament and, with it, the Government’s numbers to govern.

The poll surveyed 1000 eligible voters between April 20 and April 24.

According to the poll, if an election were held today National would still be the biggest party in Parliament with 36% of the party vote, down 2% on the last 1News Verian Poll.

Poll: Labour could return to power if election held today

The latest 1News Verian poll is disastrous for New Zealand First, which would be out of Parliament based on the numbers.

Labour is back in the 30s – just – with 30% of the party vote, up 2%. The Green Party is also up 2% to 14%, while ACT is down 1% to 7%. New Zealand First was down 1.8% and below the 5% threshold to return to Parliament.

Te Pāti Māori was steady on 4% of the party vote – noting that it holds all but one of the seven Māori electorates. Of those polled, 8% didn’t know which party they would vote for, or refused to answer.

Translated to seats in the House, those numbers meant National and ACT would have a total of 57 seats in the House – falling short of the magic number of seats to form a majority in the 121 seat Parliament – 61 seats.

Labour, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori – should they negotiate a coalition deal – had a total of 64 seats and would have the numbers to form a government.

Party vote for the 1News Verian poll on April 29
Party vote for the 1News Verian poll on April 29 (Source: 1News)

It would mean the Luxon-led National Government would be the first single-term National-led Government.

The result is not unprecedented for an incumbent Government although it has historically not happened so early in its tenure. It is similar to poll results for the Key and Clark governments in their third terms.

The third John Key-led Government was elected in October 2014 and by the July 2015 poll their coalition would have been voted out. The third Helen Clark Government was elected in October 2005 and by May 2006 their coalition would have been voted out, based on poll results from that time.

Christopher Luxon has also fallen further in the preferred prime minister stakes, at 23%, down 2%.

Labour leader Chris Hipkins does not appear to be capitalising on it however, his own result only lifting 1% to 16%.

In the first poll since she replaced James Shaw as Greens co-leader, Chlöe Swarbrick is up 2% as the preferred prime minister at 6%.

The other coalition leaders – ACT’s David Seymour and New Zealand First’s Winston Peters – are the preferred prime minister for 5% (up 1%) and 4% (down 2%), respectively.

In the lead up to the poll, Peters gave a state of the nation speech in which he compared co-governance to Nazi Germany, and another at the UN criticising its security council for their use of veto powers and its failure to act decisively in Gaza.

Preferred Prime Minister for the 1News Verian poll on April 29
Preferred Prime Minister for the 1News Verian poll on April 29 (Source: 1News)

Public submissions for the Government’s controversial Fast-track Approvals Bill also closed while debate raged.

On April 14, Luxon travelled to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines on an official visit aimed at strengthening business ties.

Discussion of cuts to the public service has also proliferated in recent weeks, as departments look to cut costs at the behest of the Government.

Hipkins: Poll ‘should be a real wake up call’ for Govt

Labour leader Hipkins said the poll “should be a real wake up call” for the coalition Government that it was taking New Zealand in the wrong direction.

Hipkins said among the public there was a “growing degree of disillusionment with the new Government, relatively early in its new term” and “a real hunger for some hope for the future”.

“They do see it as a coalition of chaos. They are concerned about decisions like rolling back our smokefree laws, cutting funding for disabled people [and] the number of [public sector] jobs that are being cut.”

Labour leader Chris Hipkins.
Labour leader Chris Hipkins. (Source: 1News)

He accepted New Zealanders voted for change at the election and that that was also a message for Labour.

“We know that we need to change if we’re going to win back government at the next election.”

He said that was “not an overnight exercise” and the party was doing it by listening to people’s concerns and hopes. But a shift in support away from all three coalition parties was “encouraging”.

He said he was more focused on Labour’s position for the next election than his preferred prime minister results, which he claimed tended to skew away from leaders of the opposition due to their highly critical role.

Luxon: Labour left an ‘unholy mess’ Govt needs to deal with

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said polls “will go up and down”.

Seats in the House for the 1News Verian poll on April 29
Seats in the House for the 1News Verian poll on April 29 (Source: 1News)

“We’re not that fixated on them.”

He said ultimately the public would judge the government’s performance at the next election.

“We’re cleaning up a hell of a mess and I think we’re doing a good job of working through it at a great pace.

“I appreciate it’s a challenging time for New Zealand but what New Zealanders want is a government that’s going to get on and deliver for them.”

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon.
Prime Minister Christopher Luxon. (Source: 1News)

After sacking two ministers from a portfolio each last week, Luxon said he would “make interventions” when he needed to “make sure I had good senior Cabinet ministers dealing with those issues”.

He said the coalition was working “incredibly well” and was united on its agenda.

Regarding Hipkins’ comment the Government needed to heed the poll as a “wake up call”, Luxon said: “No disrespect but Chris Hipkins had six years in government. He left an unholy mess for our government to pick up and I don’t take lessons from Chris Hipkins on anything.”

New Zealand First and Winston Peters were invited to comment on the poll but declined.

Party vote

National – 36% (down 2%)

Labour – 30% (up 2%)

Green – 14% (up 2%)

ACT – 7% (down 1%)

New Zealand First – 4.2% (down 1.8%)

Te Pāti Māori – 3.7% (steady)

The Opportunities Party (TOP) – 1.2% (down 0.7%)

Seats in the House

(Calculation assumes Te Pāti Māori retains its electorates.)

National – 48

Labour – 40

Green – 18

ACT – 9

Te Pāti Māori – 6

Preferred prime minister

Christopher Luxon – 23% (down 2%)

Chris Hipkins – 16% (up 1%)

Chlöe Swarbrick – 6% (up 2%)

David Seymour – 5% (up 1%)

Winston Peters – 4% (down 2%)

See the full poll results and methodology here.

Between April 20 and April 24 2024, 1000 eligible voters were polled by mobile phone (500) 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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