Political parties not reading too much into latest poll

Political parties are largely unfazed by the results of the latest 1 News Verian poll, which showed a slight boost for the government, but small dips for the opposition parties.

The poll, which was captured between 15 and 19 June, was 1 News’ first since the Budget, but governing parties have not experienced a significant bump in response.

1 News’ previous poll, conducted in April, showed New Zealand First dropping below the 5 percent threshold, and would have meant the opposition parties were able to form a government.

But the latest poll has New Zealand First back above the threshold, and the coalition government able to hold on.

  • National: 38 percent, up 2
  • Labour: 29 percent, down 1
  • Greens: 13 percent, down 1
  • ACT: 7 percent, steady
  • NZ First: 6 percent, up 2
  • Te Pāti Māori: 3 percent, down 1

The preferred prime minister stakes showed Labour leader Chris Hipkins gaining ground on Christopher Luxon.

  • Christopher Luxon: 23 percent, steady
  • Chris Hipkins: 18 percent, up 2
  • Chlöe Swarbrick: 6 percent, unchanged
  • Winston Peters: 4 percent, unchanged
  • David Seymour: 4 percent, down 1
  • Jacinda Ardern: 1 percent, unchanged

ACT party leader David Seymour said the poll was largely unchanged, and the government was putting its heads down and doing the work.

“People are very focused on ‘can I get to the next pay-day with my head above water, is it going to get better?’ And right now you’ve got gloomy weather and a gloomy economy, and so as a result people are more focused on their own outlook rather than politics. Nonetheless, I’m a big believer that if you do the work, you get recognised.”

He said ACT was in a healthy position, and future polling may reflect recent ACT-led policies like the boost to Pharmac and the next phase of the Royal Commission into Covid-19.

He also said one of the most important things the government did in the Budget was the tax cuts, which do not kick in until the end of July.

“When people finally see the tangible reward of keeping more of their own money after the government decided to take a slightly smaller slice for itself, then that’s got to lift a bit of the winter gloom. But in the meantime it’s head-down, bum-up, and grinding it through.”

Opposition parties were also not reading too much into the result.

Hipkins said the changes were within the margin of error, and was encouraged that Labour’s support had increased since the election.

He said the government would likely be disappointed it had not received a bigger post-Budget boost.

“I’d say the government threw everything they had at the Budget, and I think they’ll be disappointed they haven’t had a bigger lift in support as a result of the Budget. Really, they’re polling at or below what they got on election day, and for a new government I think they’ll find that pretty disappointing,” Hipkins said.

Hipkins said the polls often bounced around this soon after an election, and voters were unlikely to have changed their minds that quickly.

“The work we have to do over the next two-and-a-half years is to make sure we’re in a position to win at the next election,” he said.

Green Party co-leader Chlöe Swarbrick said she was reluctant to read the tea leaves of one poll, but also the said the government was not seeing the post-Budget bump it may have liked.

“That probably reflects the feeling and sentiment that we’re hearing and seeing out there in the general public. Tens of thousands of New Zealanders have mobilised in a mass-movement in opposition to this government’s archaic, anti-environment, anti-Māori, and anti-people agenda. So it’s the role of the Greens and indeed all opposition parties to continue to fight this front.”

Swarbrick acknowledged the Greens have had a difficult year, and was encouraged the poll showed them with one extra seat.

“One poll is just one poll, and I always say to look at the trends, but nonetheless we’ve been really forthright about the fact that it’s obviously been a rough year. And what I am proud of is that we have a caucus that’s remained focused on the issues that matter throughout that.”

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer did not believe the poll accurately captured support for her party.

“If you remember Rawiri [Waititi] was never meant to get in, I was going to lose by heaps and we were never going to get six seats. I guess the frustration of these types of polls is that they don’t accurately describe what’s going on in Māori communities.”

Neither New Zealand First leader Winston Peters nor National leader Christopher Luxon were available for comment.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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