A surprising new poll has revealed Jacinda Ardern and the Labour party are not on track for a landslide victory in the upcoming election.
For weeks the Labour party was on course to govern alone, but the poll released on Monday by TVNZ and research firm Colmar Brunton showed support for Ms Ardern had dropped to 47 per cent.
While it has only dropped one per cent since the last poll on September 22, the level of support means Labour would procure 59 seats rather than the 61 needed to form a majority government.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson go for a street walk in Palmerston North this month
The make up of the NZ parliament as projected by the latest TVNZ poll, Labour is on 59, the Nationals on 43, ACT on 10 and the Greens with 8 seats
But support for Labour’s possible coalition partner the Green Party rose to seven per cent, which would give it eight seats.
While it is rare in New Zealand for any single party to get the majority, previous polling following the elimination of coronavirus suggested Labour could win as many as 77 seats.
Labour is currently governing in a coalition with the New Zealand First party, and had a confidence and supply agreement with the Greens, giving them a slim overall majority in the 120 member parliament.
The Labour Party is still widely expected to form the next government. Another poll released on Sunday showed Ms Ardern’s party was poised to retain power.
Meanwhile, support for the National Party, who are the main opposition under new leader Judith ‘Crusher’ Collins, rose two points to 33 per cent on Monday.
The increase of support comes after the party’s tough-talking conservative leader Ms Collins was praised for her performance in a leaders’ debate last week.
Ms Collins told TVNZ her party was ‘chipping away and will keep on going’.
Meanwhile, support for the National Party, who are the main opposition under new leader Judith ‘Crusher’ Collins (pictured), rose two points to 33 per cent on Monday
‘I think it’s important to have the momentum,’ she said.
Meanwhile, Ms Ardern said New Zealanders are currently looking for a stable government.
‘The really strong sense I get from people is right now they are looking for strong, stable leadership in these times,’ the prime minister said.
Ms Ardern’s popularity as preferred prime minister was steady at 54 per cent, while Collins rose to 23 per cent, up five points from the last poll.
A rise in support has been seen in smaller parties such as small government party ACT, who could get as many as ten seats in the election and form a coalition with the Nationals.
All recent polls have pointed to a victory for Ardern’s Labour Party, governing in a coalition with the Greens and New Zealand First.