Support for Jacinda Ardern’s government faltering

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According to a poll by market research firm Roy Morgan, support for New Zealand’s Labour/Greens government dropped 5 percentage points to 51% in June – the lowest for the Government since the start of the covid-19 outbreak. Support for the Labour Party was down 6.5% points to 38.5% while support for the Greens was up 1.5% points to 12.5%.

The governing parties are now just 7.5% points ahead of the Parliamentary opposition National/Act NZ/Maori Party on 43.5%, up 4.5% points since May. Support for National was up 1% point to 29.5% in June and support for Act NZ was up 2.5% points to a record high of 11.5%. Support for the Maori Party support increased by 1% point to 2.5%.

A small minority of 5.5% of electors support other minor parties outside Parliament with support for NZ First down 0.5% points to 1.5% and The Opportunities Party (TOP) up 0.5% points to 2% in June.

This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile – with a New Zealand-wide cross-section of 951 electors during June. Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?” Of all electors surveyed there were 4.5% (up 0.5% points) who didn’t name a party.

New Zealand Government Confidence Rating drops 10pts to pandemic low of 124 in June

The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating dropped by 10pts in June to 124 – the lowest it has been since October 2019 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June a reduced majority of 57% (down 5.5% points) of New Zealand electors said New Zealand was ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to nearly a third, 33% (up 4.5% points) who said New Zealand was ‘heading in the wrong direction’ – the highest figure for this indicator since Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern came to power in October 2017.

The latest monthly ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating was virtually unchanged in June at 114.1, up 0.1pts from May (114.0) and is now just above the corresponding Consumer Confidence figure in Australia of 112.2 on June 26/27, 2021.

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s long COVID-19 ‘honeymoon’ appears to be ending as Government Confidence is down and support for the Labour-led Government is at its lowest since October 2017:

“Today’s Roy Morgan New Zealand Poll shows the Labour-led Government has the support of 51% of New Zealand electors with support for the Labour Party at 38.5% and a further 12.5% supporting the Greens.

“Support for the Government is down 5% points on May 2021 and represents the lowest support for the Labour-led Government since coming to power in October 2017 and the lowest support for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party since December 2019.

“The latest results appear to show the long COVID ‘honeymoon’ enjoyed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her excellent handling of the pandemic since March 2020 has finally ended. In addition, Roy Morgan Government Confidence has dropped 10pts to 124 in June – its lowest mark since the beginning of the pandemic.

“The slow pace of New Zealand’s vaccine rollout may be hitting confidence in the Government. By the end of June around 1.15 million doses of COVID-19 had been administered and around 9% of the population have been fully vaccinated – well below countries such as the UK and the USA which have fully vaccinated about 50% of their citizens.

“One of the favourable comparisons to be made is to near-neighbours Australia which has fully vaccinated only around 5% of its population. The consequence of the slow vaccination rate in Australia is on display now with small outbreaks of the ‘Delta strain’ of COVID-19 causing nearly half of the Australian population to be placed into new lockdowns.

“Support for the Opposition Parties in Parliament has increased to 43.5% (up 4.5% points) with National on 29.5% (up 1% point), the Maori Party on 2.5% (up 1% point) and Act NZ on 11.5% (up 2.5% points) – and at a new record high for the right-leaning libertarian party.

“The Labour-led Government’s lead over the Opposition is now 7.5% points, the narrowest gap between the two since Prime Minister Ardern’s election in 2017. The tightening race gives new hope for Opposition Leader Judith Collins that as the focus shifts beyond the initial response to COVID-19 the public are increasingly willing to listen to National’s policies.

“One factor that is in the Opposition’s favour is the economic performance of New Zealand compared to Australia. Over the year to March 2021 the New Zealand economy’s GDP shrank by 2.3% while in Australia there was an increase to GDP of 1.1% compared to a year earlier despite the bigger impact from the pandemic.”

New Zealand Party Vote: 2020-21

Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January 2020 – June 2021. Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 927.
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