New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern holds big poll lead as election looms
Ardern’s Labour Party was on 50% in a 1News/Colmar Brunton poll published Thursday in Wellington, down from 59% in the same survey just over a month ago.Updated: Jun 25, 2020, 13:26 IST
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern continues to hold a sizable lead over the opposition ahead of an election in September, though recent bungles at the border may have eroded some of her support, a new poll shows.
Ardern’s Labour Party was on 50% in a 1News/Colmar Brunton poll published Thursday in Wellington, down from 59% in the same survey just over a month ago. The main opposition National Party was on 38%, up from 29%, after it changed its leader. The election will be held Sept. 19.
Ardern’s support may have been hurt by recent revelations that New Zealand’s border controls have been too lax, allowing two women with Covid-19 to exit quarantine early to attend a family funeral without being tested. National’s change of leader to Todd Muller from Simon Bridges is also helping to rekindle its support.
Still, if the poll results were replicated on election night Ardern’s party could govern alone. That is an unlikely outcome in New Zealand’s proportional representation electoral system, which lends itself to coalition governments.
Labour’s current coalition partner New Zealand First was on 2%, well below the 5% required to return to parliament. However, its ally the Green Party was on 6%, giving the center-left a robust margin over the center-right.
The poll was conducted June 20-24 and had a margin of error of 3.1%.