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National's support crumbles in one poll, but up in another

Derek Cheng,
Publish Date
Wed, 11 Oct 2023, 6:09PM

National's support crumbles in one poll, but up in another

Derek Cheng,
Publish Date
Wed, 11 Oct 2023, 6:09PM

A Newshub Reid Research poll shows National’s support crumbling, down 4.6 points to 34.5 per cent.

Labour is still trailing at 27.5 per cent, up 1 point on the last Newshub Reid Research poll. The Green Party is at 14.9 per cent, up 0.7 points.

Act hasn’t moved from 8.8 per cent and New Zealand First is at 6.8 per cent, up 1.6 points and well above the 5 per cent threshold to enter Parliament.

Te Pāti Māori is up half a point to 2.7 per cent, in the Newshub Reid Research poll.

Without NZ First, the left bloc of Labour, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori on these numbers would reach 57 seats. It’s more than what National and Act would bring in on these numbers, which is 54. The right bloc would need the nine seats this poll gives to NZ First.

But both major parties are up in the latest 1News Verian poll, also released tonight. However, National would still require Winston Peters and NZ First to form a government as Act continues to slide.

The 1News Verian shows National’s picked up one point from the last 1News Verian poll, to 37 per cent, but Act has dropped a point to 9 per cent.

Labour’s is up 2 points to 28 and the Greens are on 15.

New Zealand First is steady on 6 per cent, but it still has the balance of power, as Act and National combined would win just 58 seats.

Te Pāti Māori is steady on 2 per cent.



The last Newshub Reid Research was from the end of September.

It showed National at 39.1 per cent, Labour at 26.5 per cent, the Greens at 14.2 per cent, Act at 8.8 per cent, NZ First at 5.2 per cent and Te Pāti Māori at 2.2 per cent. National and Act would still need New Zealand First on these numbers in order to form a government.

The Herald’s poll of polls also shows a combination of National, Act and NZ First as the most likely outcome of the election.

There is also a slim pathway to power for Labour, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori, but it rests on a small percentage swing in support to the left bloc and NZ First falling short of the 5 per cent threshold, which is needed to return to Parliament without an electorate seat.

The left bloc’s chances are dramatically improved with NZ First, but Peters and Labour leader Chris Hipkins have both ruled out working with each other multiple times.

NZ First has been trending higher in the polls following Luxon’s announcement two weeks ago that he would work with Peters as a last resort.

Then on Sunday, National tried to sway voters away from NZ First and towards National by saying a second election was a “real possibility” if talks between National, Act and NZ First fell short of forming a government.

This prompted Hipkins to claim that National was “falling apart”, while also saying that Labour’s support was trending higher.

Yesterday, National and Labour both attacked each other’s fiscal plans respectively.

Labour claimed National would need cuts to the public service worth up to $3.1 billion a year in order to fill what Labour says are the holes in National’s fiscal plan. Labour came to this figure partly by using the workings from economists for National’s foreign buyer tax instead of National’s numbers, which National has repeatedly refused to explain.

National's finance spokesperson NIcola Willis and Labour's finance spokesman Grant Robertson have sparred over fiscal holes and economic credibility.  Photo / Michael Craig

National's finance spokesperson NIcola Willis and Labour's finance spokesman Grant Robertson have sparred over fiscal holes and economic credibility. Photo / Michael Craig

National’s Nicola Willis rejected this as “desperation from a Labour Party that has never kept to a single spending promise it has set in a fiscal plan”.

She pointed to a $7b blow-out in Labour’s fiscal plan, which assumes Labour’s ongoing inability to stick to its spending plans; Labour has defended its overspending as responding to the pandemic, natural disasters and cost of living pressures.

National used different costings for Labour’s policy of free dental care for those under 30, which Labour said was wrong because the policy is only meant to apply to basic dental care.

Labour hasn’t always specified “basic” dental care.

Similarly, National has at times mistakenly sold its tax package as benefiting a family on the average income by $250 a fortnight, instead of “up to $250″. National has conceded that only a fraction of 1 per cent of households would qualify for the full $250 amount.

National has also been on the defensive following a Council of Trade Unions (CTU) analysis showing beneficiaries would be $17,000 worse off after five years of National’s policy of indexing benefit levels to inflation rather than average wage growth.

This change would improve National’s books by $2b, which the CTU said was the same amount that landlords would benefit from after National reintroduced interest deductibility rules on rental income.

The CTU pointed to 2021 data showing 346 landlords owning at least 200 properties each who would receive an average tax cut of $1.3m each over five years.

Luxon has defended the changes to benefit levels, saying inflation is the more appropriate measure because it would allow beneficiaries to keep up with the cost of living while still incentivising them into work. He has added that growing the economy was the best way to reduce poverty, as it would pull more beneficiaries into work.

Luxon has also said the changes to interest deductibility would encourage more investment in rental property, which would put downward pressure on rents.

Meanwhile, National could get an extra MP after the death of an Act candidate in the Port Waikato electorate, which means the candidate vote will not count on election day (although the party vote will still count). A byelection will be held on Saturday, November 25.

That will mean there are 121 MPs after the byelection instead of the usual 120 MPs, and with Port Waikato being a safe National seat, the party will likely have an extra MP after the byelection.

Derek Cheng is a senior journalist who started at the Herald in 2004. He has worked several stints in the press gallery and is a former deputy political editor.

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