Support for the Labour Party has soared to 33% under new leader Jacinda Ardern in a new poll, while the embattled Green Party’s popularity has plummeted.
The result from the Newshub-Reid Research poll follows an extraordinary month in politics in which Jacinda Ardern took over as Labour leader and Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei came under intense pressure after her benefit fraud admission caused two MPs to resign.
It closed before Ms Turei’s resignation yesterday.
Compared with a poll nine days ago, Labour has risen from 24.1% to 33.1%, while the Greens have fallen from 13% to 8.3%.
National is only slightly down, 0.8% to 44.4%.
New Zealand First drops 3.8% to 9.2% pushing the Greens out of position to become the third most popular party and still holding the balance of power.
On the preferred prime minister question, Ms Ardern increased a stunning 17.6% to 26.3%.
That is not far behind Bill English, who has edged up 1.9% to 27.7%.
Winston Peters has dropped 1.9% to 10%.
Of the minor parties, Gareth Morgan’s The Opportunities Party is on 2% (no change), the Maori Party is up slightly to 1.5%, Act New Zealand is 0.6% and United Future 0.1%.
Translated to seats in Parliament, National on 55 cannot form a coalition government with its support partners.
Neither can Labour (41 seats) with the support of the Greens (10).
New Zealand First holds the balance of power with 11 seats.
The poll’s release came less than an hour after Ms Turei announced she was standing down as co-leader and likely to leave Parliament after the election.
National campaign chairman and Finance Minister Steven Joyce said Labour’s huge gain in the Newshub poll was not a great surprise.
“You saw the numbers coming off both New Zealand First and the Greens.
“Actually, I genuinely thought the Greens might be a little bit lower than that after the weeks that they have had.”
He said he was not worried about Ms Ardern’s remarkable rise in the preferred prime minister stakes, saying she was always going to get a honeymoon period and the focus would soon be on policy.
Ms Ardern said the poll results were heartening, “but we’re not going to be resting on our laurels. Absolutely not”.
The leaked results from the latest UMR poll, which finished yesterday, show Labour has surged from 23% a fortnight ago to 36%.
Support for the Green Party collapsed from 15% to 8%.
In the UMR poll, support for New Zealand First dropped from 16% to 8%. National went up one percentage point to 43%.
Since the previous Newshub-Reid Research poll on July 30, Labour leader Andrew Little quit as leader and was replaced the same day by Ms Ardern in an uncontested vote.
Over the same period, the Green Party fell into crisis after Ms Turei’s handling of her benefit controversy prompted two Green MPs to resign.
The Newshub-Reid Research poll was conducted from August 2 to yesterday, and has a margin of error of 3.1%. It uses a mixed methodology 750 people are surveyed using landlines, and 250 on an internet panel. NZME