Poll: National rises, Ardern’s preferred PM result drops

Source: 1News

National is clawing back support and biting off chunks from ACT, while Labour looks relatively unscathed despite a turbulent time managing the pandemic. However, its leader Jacinda Ardern has dropped to her lowest result as preferred PM since September 2017, while National’s Christopher Luxon jumped up the preferred PM rankings in the first poll since becoming leader.

The first 1News Kantar Public poll for 2022 showed party support for Labour down one to 40%, National up four to 32%, ACT down three to 11%, while the Green Party was steady on 9%.

Party support

Labour: 40% (down 1 percentage point)

National: 32% (up 4pp.)

ACT: 11% (down 3pp.)

Green Party: 9% (steady)

New Zealand First: 2% (down 1pp.)

Te Pāti Māori: 2% (up 1pp.)

The Opportunities Party (TOP): 2% (up 1pp.)

New Conservative: 1% (steady)

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party: 1% (steady)

Don’t know: 7% (steady)

Refused: 4% (up 2pp.)

*Percentages do not add to 100 due to rounding. For party support, percentages have been rounded up or down to whole numbers.

Labour had steadily declined in the last six polls since the 2020 election, sitting on 53% in the December 2020 poll, now down to 40%.

Jacinda Ardern said the result of the latest poll was "still a really strong showing for us as Government despite some really hard calls having been made, but calls that have put us in the best possible position to continue to take on this pandemic".

"When I reflect on the last six months, it has been a really hard period for New Zealand and we have had to make some really hard decisions, but those are still decisions I absolutely stand by… that ultimately means we're on the best possible footing to take on this next wave."

National pulled its strongest result since October 2020 - 32%.

Luxon said National's result was "positive and encouraging".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National leader Christopher Luxon.

"I'm really focused on what we've got to do in the National Party," he said.

"Fundamentally we've got to get into the work and now follow up our words with actions."

He said that meant opposing the Government on issues such as the slow rollout of rapid antigen testing, and coming up with ideas "that New Zealanders can say, 'that's fantastic that's solving some of our biggest problems'."

ACT dropped to 11% support – a result that was still one of the highest the party had received.

Leader David Seymour said ACT was in a "very strong position as the third most popular party".

"We're at 11% and able to give New Zealanders an option, who don't just want to change the Government but set a new direction for New Zealand. ACT remains at record levels of support, our third-best poll in the history of TV1's polling.

"We're not just here to get Jacinda out of the Beehive, we're here to put new ideas in the Beehive, too."

For preferred Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern took a 4-point dive to 35% - still ahead of her political competitors but a significant drop.

It’s her lowest result since before the 2017 election when she sat at 31%.

She last sat around that mark in November 2019, where she garnered 36%.

Preferred PM

Jacinda Ardern: 35% (down 4pp.)

Christopher Luxon: 17% (up 13pp.)

David Seymour: 6% (down 5pp.)

Winston Peters: 1% (steady)

Chlöe Swarbrick: 1% (down 1pp.)

Don't know: 28% (up 2pp.)

None/refused: 5% (steady)

Luxon, late last year emerging as leader from the rubble of National's political storm, surged up 13pp. to 17% as preferred Prime Minister.

In comparison to his predecessors, Simon Bridges increased from 1% to 10% in April 2018, Todd Muller increased from 0.2% to 13% in June 2020 and Judith Collins jumped up 18% in the July 2020 poll (from 2% to 20%) when she became leader. In the latest poll, Collins dropped down to 0.2%.

Luxon also rose to the detriment of Seymour – who fell 5pp. to 6% as preferred PM. Previously, Seymour had received 11% in the November and September 2021 polls.

Parliamentary seats entitlement based on poll results:

Labour: 51

National: 41

ACT Party: 14

Green Party: 12

Māori Party: 2

*The Parliament seat entitlement method assumes Rawiri Waititi holds the seat of Waiariki.

Parliament seat entitlement based on the poll results would still see the Labour Party and Green Party have enough seats to form a Government, while National and ACT would only have 55 seats between them.

When asked about the economy, 49% (up 2pp.) of those polled thought that in the next 12 months the economy would be in a worse shape than at present, while 22% (down 7pp.) thought it would be better and 29% (up 4pp.) thought it would be the same.

Ardern said relative to other countries, "New Zealand has done incredibly well in terms of the way our economy has held up".

"This will be the year in which we begin to reconnect, and it will make a difference to how we perform as an economy."

On the economy, Luxon said he was worried about "New Zealand people who are sitting there tonight, anxious about how they're going to pay their bills… the cost of things are going up twice as much as wage growth is".

Many may notice the new name of the 1News poll. It’s the same pollsters, the same techniques but a different name – the 1News Kantar Public poll.

View the full results from the January poll here.

See November 2021's poll here.

See September 2021's poll here.

Between January 22 to 26, 2022, 1000 eligible voters were polled by mobile phone (500) and online (500). The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level. For party support and preferred Prime Minister, percentages have been rounded up or down to whole numbers. The data has been weighted to align with Stats NZ population counts for age, gender, region, education level and ethnic identification. The sample for mobile phones is selected by random dialling using probability sampling, and the online sample is collected using an online panel.