Labour falls below National
Labour is down in the latest TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll, but its partners - the Green Party and NZ First - are up.
Labour has slid 5 percentage points to 43 per cent, in the second TVNZ poll of the year. Meanwhile, National is up 1 percentage point to 44 per cent, taking over as the most popular party.
The Green Party and NZ First have both gone up, cracking through the 5 per cent threshhold.
The Greens jumped 1 percentage point to 6 per cent. While NZ First has also gone up, climbing 2 percentage points to 5 per cent.
The Government is calling the results a win as far as the overall coalition results goes. The Government as a whole is polling ahead of where it was following the election, and was now 10 points ahead.
Jacinda Ardern has also taken a hit in the preferred prime minister stakes.
The poll has her down 4 percentage points to 37 per cent.
Meanwhile, NZ First leader Winston Peters is up 1 percentage point to 5 per cent.
This is the first major poll to come out since Simon Bridges took over leadership of the National Party. Most new leaders experience a jump in the polls, often referred to as a honeymoon period.
Bridges has jumped 9 percentage points to 10 per cent, following a growth in his name recognition, and a round of soft media, including a recent trip to his former high school - Rutherford College - in west Auckland.
However, his favourability for a new leader is not as high as it was for former prime minister John Key, or Ardern when she first took over Labour from Andrew Little.
The poll also asked voters how they thought the economy would track over the coming year.
Most were optimistic, with 37 per cent saying they expected it to improve, 29 per cent said it would stay the same, and 34 per cent expected it to get worse.
Labour’s slip in the polls comes after a couple of tough blows for the leading party.
There were the allegations of sexual abuse at a Young Labour summer camp, followed by the saga of RNZ boss meeting with Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran without disclosing the nature of how the meeting came about.
And the announcement of a draft transport policy, which included a fuel tax increase of between 9c and 12c a litre to fund transport planning, focusing on road safety and rapid rail, did not play well for Labour.
Meanwhile, the National Party has had a good run with a new leader.
In terms of how the poll numbers translate into seats in the House: Labour, the Greens and NZ First would get 66 seats based on the polling, whle National and ACT would make up 55 seats.