Content supplied by Roy Morgan Research.
In August support for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party was at 48%, down 5.5% since July, but well ahead of National on 28.5% (up 2%), with just over a month to go before the rescheduled election in mid-October.
If an election were held today Labour could govern with the support of current partners the Greens.
Interviewing for this survey in August encompassed the period including the enforcement of Stage 3 restrictions across Auckland following the renewed outbreak of COVID-19 in the city and the decision to postpone the election by four weeks.
The renewed outbreak of COVID-19 and the re-imposition of restrictions in Auckland and around the country has clearly proved frustrating to many and the subsequent drop in support for Labour in August has narrowed the lead to 19.5% points between the two major parties.
Although this is the smallest lead for Labour since March it still represents a huge advantage to Ardern’s Government as it seeks re-election in mid-October.
This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile – with a NZ-wide cross-section of 897 electors during August. Of all electors surveyed 5.5% (up 1.5%) didn’t name a party. Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?”
Support for the Labour/NZ First/Greens coalition remains strong at 62% in August
In August 62% of electors supported the Labour/NZ First/Greens governing coalition, down 1% since July. The governing coalition was well ahead of the Parliamentary opposition National/ Act NZ on only 34.5%, up 1.5% since July.
- Support for Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peter’s NZ First improved slightly by 1% to 2.5% in August but remains 4.7% below the party’s election result of 7.2% in 2017. The August figure puts NZ First below the party vote threshold; it may be ejected from Parliament altogether at this year’s NZ Election if it garners less than 5% of the vote.
- Greens support increased 3.5% to 11.5% in August and is now up 5.2% since the 2017 election and the party is on track to repeat the result of the 2011 NZ Election when it won 14 seats.
- Support for Act NZ was at 6% in August, down 0.5% since July. If this level of support is repeated at the election it would be Act’s best election result since 2002 when the party scored over 7% of the vote and won 9 seats in Parliament.
A small minority of 3.5% of electors support other minor parties outside Parliament.
- Of the parties outside Parliament, The Opportunities Party (TOP) was down 0.5% to 1% in August and the Maori Party was unchanged at 0.5%.
New Zealand Government Confidence Rating virtually unchanged at 152 in August
Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating was virtually unchanged at a very high 152 in August, down 0.5pts from 152.5 in July. The majority (71%) of New Zealand electors (down 0.5% since July) said New Zealand was ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to only 19% (unchanged) who said New Zealand was ‘heading in the wrong direction’.
The latest monthly ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating was down slightly by 4.1pts at 100.2 in August. Both indicators have stabilised in recent months after large movements during the early part of the pandemic in March and April drove Government Confidence to a record high in April while Consumer Confidence Rating hit its lowest level for a decade in the same month at only 84.8.
Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says several events in August have dented support for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour, but most of this support flowed to coalition partners NZ First and the Greens rather than the opposition:
“Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has faced several challenges during August with a renewed outbreak of COVID-19 leading to the re-imposition of a Stage 3 lockdown in New Zealand’s largest city of Auckland and the re-introduction of Stage 2 restrictions throughout the country.
“The outbreak prompted the four-week postponement of the New Zealand Election until mid-October and raised questions about whether the elimination strategy pursued so far is a sustainable long-term solution to the threat posed by COVID-19.
“Today’s Roy Morgan New Zealand Poll shows the issues that emerged in August have impacted on support for the governing Labour Party which saw its support decline by 5.5% to 48% - its lowest level of support since March 2020 (42.5%).
“However, the good news for Labour is that the support has flowed largely to coalition partners NZ First, up 1% to 2.5% support and the Greens, up 3.5% to 11.5%. This level of support would not be enough to return NZ First to Parliament after the election but would likely lead to a coalition between Labour and the Greens with Prime Minister Ardern staying on in the top job.
“The Opposition National under new leader Judith Collins has recovered some ground in August with support growing 2% to 28.5% but is still below the level of support former leader Simon Bridges managed in April (30.5%) before he was dumped as leader in mid-May.
“Although the renewed outbreak and lockdowns in August have provided a new challenge for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the quick response appears to have brought the outbreak under control and means Ardern remains heavily favoured to be re-elected with an increased majority at the rescheduled election in mid-October.”
New Zealand Party Vote: 2020
New Zealand Party Vote: NZ Govt. v Parliamentary Opposition
Roy Morgan NZ Government Confidence Rating vs. ANZ-Roy Morgan NZ Consumer Confidence
Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January – August 2020. Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 897.