Labour maintains its strong lead in the first 1 NEWS-Colmar Brunton Poll of 2021, while National’s Judith Collins has recorded her lowest rating as preferred Prime Minister since becoming leader.
Labour is on 49% support in today's poll, with National lagging at 27%.
National leader Collins and Labour Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have both taken a dive in the preferred PM stakes.
Despite a significant 15% drop in support, Ardern remains miles ahead at 43%. Collins is languishing on 8%, down 4% on the previous poll in December.
Labour Party: 49% (down 4%)
National Party: 27% (up 2%)
Green Party: 9% (up 1%)
New Zealand First: 2%
Māori Party: 2%
New Conservative: 1%
TOP - 1% (up 0.7%)
Don’t know: 5%
*Percentages do not add to 100 due to rounding.
Collins said she thought she could do better. “The last year was an extraordinarily debilitating year, with having three leaders in four months and the Covid lockdowns," she said.
“I think everybody can do better. I’m always interested in making sure that part of my job is making sure the team does well and we’ve been working really hard from what was a tough loss and a really tough last three years.
“We’re going to continue to keep focused on what matters.”
Collins had rocketed from 2% to 20% in July last year after taking over as National leader — far ahead of former leaders Todd Muller, who got 13% during his brief tenure, and Simon Bridges, who only ever reached a high of 12%.
Former leader Simon Bridges has made an appearance in the poll, at 1% - his first showing since he was rolled by Muller last year.
Meanwhile, new MP and former Air NZ CEO Christopher Luxon remains steady at 2% support as preferred PM. ACT’s David Seymour remained steady on 4%.
The proportion of people who said they did not know who their preferred prime minister is now sits on 27% - a large jump from the 13% who gave that response in December 2020.
When asked if the last two lockdowns had contributed to her 15% drop in support as preferred PM, Ardern said she was still pleased at the level of support she is getting.
“I do have to make some tough calls and they do impact on people’s lives, but I still feel really heartened to have the support too.”
Jacinda Ardern: 43% (down 15% since December 2020 poll)
Judith Collins: 8% (down 4%)
David Seymour: 4%
Christopher Luxon: 2%
Simon Bridges: 1%
Don’t know: 27%
The poll showed Labour take a dip of 4% since the last December poll – which was the first poll after election 2020. In this poll, Labour dropped from 53% down to 49% support.
“That steady support, I take great heart in that,” Ardern told 1 NEWS. “I think Kiwis know we have a big year ahead of us, so pleasing to see they’ve seen our plans and they continue to support them.”
National rose slightly from 25% to 27%.
“We’re starting to trend a little bit in the right direction,” Collins said, “but there’s a lot more work to do.”
Asked if she was nervous about a leadership challenge based on her preferred PM rating being in single digits and her party in the 20s – Collins said, “not at all”.
She said National was focused on topics such as the Covid-19 vaccines rollout. “I think it’s really important we never get ourselves too distracted.”
The Green Party increased support up to 9%, while ACT remained steady on 8%.
Parliamentary seat entitlement based on poll results:
Labour Party: 62
National Party: 34
Green Party: 11
ACT Party: 11
Māori Party: 2
At the election 2020 in October, Labour received 50 per cent, National 25.6 per cent, the Green Party 7.9 per cent and ACT 7.6 per cent.
Between March 9 and 13, 2021, 1006 eligible voters were polled by mobile phone (501) and online (505). The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level. For party support, percentages have been rounded up or down to whole numbers. The data has been weighted to align with Stats NZ population counts for age, gender, region and ethnic identification. The sample for mobile phones is selected by random dialling using probability sampling, and the online sample is collected using an online panel.