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Political headwinds for Labour, Ardern

Editorial

Three months of lockdown in Auckland, uncertainty over the pathway out of restrictions and opposition to vaccine mandates are biting hard into support for Labour and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern — but not delivering much for their opponents, and certainly not National's leader Judith Collins.

The 1News Colmar Brunton poll out last night has Labour's popularity back two points to 41 percent and Ardern falling five points to 39 percent as preferred Prime Minister, her lowest personal rating since before the pandemic.

National was up two to 28 percent support, Act was steady at 14 percent and the Greens were up one to 9 percent. Support for Collins remained at 5 percent but her approval rating plunged to a new low of -31; Act's David Seymour was steady on 11 percent support as preferred PM; “Don't know” was up five points to 26 percent.

Colmar's latest survey results on party support closely resemble two political polls revealed last week.

A leaked copy of the Talbot Mills Research poll (Labour's pollster) showed Labour had dropped five points in the past month to 41 percent — its lowest result since January 2020, before Covid arrived in New Zealand. National was up two to 24 percent while Act was up one to 17 percent support and the Green Party was up two to 9 percent.

Ardern was on 47 percent as preferred PM, from 51 percent in the Talbot Mills poll a month earlier, while Seymour was on 15 percent and Collins on 10 percent.

The latest Taxpayers' Union Curia poll (traditional pollster for National) had Labour slumping six points to 39 percent, while National was up four points to 26 percent, Act was down one to 16 percent and the Greens were up two to 9 percent.

In the preferred PM stakes, Ardern slumped 13 points to 34 percent, Collins was up one point to 6 percent support and Seymour was down two to 10.5 percent.

Together these polls highlight the political importance of announcements tomorrow on when Auckland's lockdown will end, and boundaries reopen. Ardern has to deliver on her pledge that we will have a “classic Kiwi summer”, for the vaccinated that is, and ensure our health system is as well prepared as possible for the ensuing spread of the virus — likely before all regions reach the 90 percent milestone, with some communities being especially vulnerable due to much lower vaccination rates.

That carries significant political risk, too. As we know, public opinion can shift fast in a pandemic.

  1. Peter Jones says:

    So it’s ok to create a new class of “free dummies and anti-vax clowns” and demonise them?
    That carries significant political risk too.