Jacinda Ardern’s ascension to leadership revitalises Labour, up +2% to 32.5%; Turei scandal costs Greens support, down -4.5% to 9%. National slips again

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In mid-August support for incumbent National is 42.5% (down 0.5%), still marginally in front of a potential Labour/Greens coalition on 41.5% (down 2.5%).

Labour’s prospects of governing after next month’s election have been boosted with Labour’s support up 2% to 32.5% following Jacinda Ardern’s rise to the Labour leadership at the start of August – the highest support for Labour for nearly a year.

However, Greens support is down 4.5% to 9% after the welfare fraud scandal involving Greens co-leader Metiria Turei cost the leader her job a week ago.

Winston Peters appears to be the largest beneficiary of the Greens troubles with New Zealand First increasing their support by 3.5% to 11.5% – now with greater support than the Greens for the first time since the 2005 Election when New Zealand First formed Government in coalition with Labour under former Prime Minister Helen Clark.

New Zealand First is now in prime position to repeat the 2005 Election outcome and install Jacinda Ardern as New Zealand’s youngest Prime Minister since Edward Stafford in 1856 or choose whether current PM Bill English wins an election in his own right for the first time.

Overall support for the governing National-led coalition was down 1% to 44.5% with support for National’s coalition partners down slightly: Maori Party on 1.5% (unchanged), Act NZ on 0.5% (down 0.5%) and United Future on 0%.

Support for the parties currently outside Parliament was unchanged at 2.5% with 2% support for newcomer The Opportunities Party (TOP).

New Zealand Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating up in August

The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating decreased slightly, down 0.5pts to 139pts in August with 62.5% of NZ electors (down 0.5%) saying NZ is ‘heading in the right direction’ cf. 23.5% of NZ electors (unchanged) that say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction’.

Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman of Roy Morgan Research, says new Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern has breathed new life into the NZ Election and stands a very real chance of toppling incumbent PM Bill English:

“Competing narratives vie for attention heading into the final few weeks of New Zealand’s extended election campaign with National on 42.5% now just ahead of a potential Labour/Greens coalition on 41.5% and the wildcard New Zealand First on 11.5% support now appearing to hold all the aces.

“Can incumbent Prime Minister Bill English avoid the ignominy of a second election defeat and avenge his 2002 defeat to former Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark by winning an election in his own right for the first time?

“Can new Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern complete a remarkable political rise to the top after winning the Mount Albert by-election less than six months ago and subsequently becoming Labour Leader in March and elevated to the leadership just over a month out from the election by becoming New Zealand’s youngest Prime Minister in over 160 years?

“If Ardern is to achieve this incredible feat, it will likely be with the support of New Zealand’s favourite political maverick Winston Peters and his New Zealand First party who’s recent increases in support make it ever more likely Peters will get to decide who emerges as Prime Minister after next month’s election.”

Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?”

This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile telephone – with a NZ wide cross-section of 873 electors during July 31 – August 13, 2017. Of all electors surveyed 6.5% (down 2%) didn’t name a party.