Colmar Brunton: NZ Labour leads National by 47-33

Seventeen days before the October 17 New Zealand election, a new poll has Labour short of a majority in its own right.

A New Zealand Colmar Brunton poll, conducted September 23-27 from a sample of 1,005, gave Labour 47% (down one since last week), National 33% (up two), the right-wing ACT 8% (up one), the Greens 7% (up one) and NZ First just 1% (down one).

PM Jacinda Ardern had a net approval of +51; this is very good, but down from +76 in May.  72% approved and 22% disapproved.  Opposition Leader Judith Collins had a net approval of +12, down from +27 in July.  50% approved and 37% disapproved.  Rounding explains the one-point difference compared with subtracting disapprove from approve.  Ardern led Collins as better PM by 54-23 (54-18 last week).

If this poll were the result on October 17, Labour would win 59 of the 120 seats, two short of a majority.  National would win 43 seats, ACT ten and the Greens eight.  Labour’s seat number has slipped by three since last week, partly because the combined votes of all parties below the 5% threshold has dropped to 5% from 8%.  More effectively wasted votes helps the bigger parties.

The Greens will be relieved that their vote in this poll is two points above the threshold.  If the Greens failed to clear the threshold, Labour would win a majority provided that their vote exceeded that for National and ACT combined.  Currently Labour leads National/ACT by 47-41, but that’s down from 48-38 last week.

A Reid Research poll was released on Sunday, but the fieldwork was taken September 16-23, about the same dates as last week’s Colmar Brunton poll (September 17-21).  The Reid Research poll gave Labour 50.1%, National 29.6%, the Greens 6.5% and ACT 6.3%.  Seat projections from this poll were Labour 65, National 39, Greens and ACT eight each.

National Essential poll: 52-48 to Labor

In last week’s Essential poll, conducted from a sample of 1,085 on March 21-25 — the weekend of the NSW election — Labor led by 52-48, a one-point gain for the Coalition since three weeks ago. Primary votes were 39% Coalition (up two), 36% Labor (down two), 10% Greens (up two) and 7% One Nation (steady).

58% thought the budget would be good for people who are well-off, and just 9% bad. For Australian business, this split was 50-13, and for the economy overall 35-24. Average working people had a 33-27 bad split, older Australians 38-25 bad, people on lower incomes 42-24 and you personally 34-19.

All spending priorities surveyed had far more saying the government should increase rather than reduce spending, except providing tax reductions for corporations (46-12 reduce) and foreign aid (49-11 reduce).

Essential asked for opinions on various world leaders. New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern was easily the best perceived with a 71-11 favourable rating (54-11 in July 2018). Scott Morrison had a 41-40 favourable rating, German Chancellor Angela Merkel a 36-22 favourable rating (43-18 previously), United Kingdom PM Theresa May was tied at 31-31 (42-19 favourable in July 2018), and US President Donald Trump had a 68-19 unfavourable rating (64-22 previously).