Labour falls be­low Na­tional

The Southland Times - - FRONT PAGE - LAURA WAL­TERS

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.

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