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In New Zealand: New Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon boosts support for National to 35%; now ahead of Labour on 33%

Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January 2020 – January 2022.
Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 932.
Support for National has now overtaken Labour for the first time since 2019

New Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon has again boosted support for the main Opposition National in only his second month in charge with support rising 3.5% points to 35% in January. Support for National has now increased 8.5% points since Luxon took over the leadership at the end of November 2021 and has now overtaken Labour for the first time since October 2019.

Support for a potential National/ Act NZ coalition government is now at 48.5% and clearly ahead of the current Labour/ Greens government of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on 43.5%.

Although support for National increased for a fourth straight month the increase in January came at the expense of fellow right-leaning party Act NZ for which support fell 5% points to 13.5% to its lowest since August 2021. Support for the Maori Party increased 1.5% points to 2.5%.

In contrast, support for New Zealand’s Labour/Greens ‘coalition’ government was down 0.5% points to 43.5% in January – the fourth straight month of declines for the government. Labour support dropped 2.5% points to only 33% to the lowest since Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took office in late 2017 while support for the Greens increased 2% points to 10.5%.

A small minority of 5.5% of electors support other minor parties outside Parliament with support for New Zealand First up 0.5% points to 2.5%, The Opportunities Party up 0.5% points to 1.5% and support for the New Conservative Party up 0.5% points to 1% in January.

This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile – with a New Zealand-wide cross-section of 951 electors during January. Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?” Of all electors surveyed 7%, up 1% points, did not name a party.

New Zealand Government Confidence Rating jumps 8.5pts to 106.5 in January

The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating increased by 8.5pts in January to 106.5 to return to positive territory after one month below the neutral level for 100.

Although it is unusual to see the Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating increase when support for the governing parties is in decline the rise in January comes after a significant decline during the last year, and even just the last few months.

The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating is now down 46.5pts from a year ago in January 2021 (153) and down 18.5pts from just September 2021 (125). These declines match a softening in support for the Government during this period and the small rise in January is likely closely related to the course of the pandemic, and opening up, rather than Government policy changes in January. 

In January, 48.5% (up 6% points) of electors said New Zealand was ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to 42% (down 2.5% points) who said New Zealand was ‘heading in the wrong direction’.

The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating for New Zealand was down 0.6pts to 97.7 and is now below the latest Consumer Confidence figure in Australia of 99.9 on Jan. 31 – Feb. 6, 2022 which is now slowly recovering after a breakout of the highly contagious Omicron variant during January.

Women favour Labour/Greens while men firmly support National and Act NZ

Support for the Labour/ Greens coalition remains strong amongst women. Support for the Labour/ Greens coalition is at 54.5% for women aged 50+ compared to only 41% support for National/ Act NZ. For women aged 18-49 support is at 50% for the Labour/ Greens coalition compared to 41.5% for National/ Act NZ.

The smallest Parliamentary Opposition, the Maori Party, attracts the support of 3.5% of women although their support is concentrated amongst younger women aged 18-49 at 7%.

There is a stark difference for men with 56.5% supporting National or Act NZ. In January 56.5% of men aged 18-49 supported National/ Act NZ compared to only 31.5% that supported Labour/ Greens. For men aged 50+ there were 56.5% supporting National/ Act NZ compared to 37% supporting Labour/ Greens.
Although National is now the preferred party of men of all ages there is a clear age divide with men of different ages when it comes to their levels of support for the various parties.

For men aged 18-49 support for National (34.5%) is now clearly in first place ahead of Act NZ (22%) although there is almost a tie for third place between Labour (16%) and the Greens (15.5%).

In contrast, for men aged 50+ support is significantly higher for the traditional major parties with nearly half of this group supporting National (46%) ahead of Labour (32%). Support for Act NZ is at only 10.5%, less than half the support they have from younger men, while only 5% of older men support the Greens.

The Maori Party attracts only 1% support from men of all ages.

Party vote analysis by Gender & Age

 

Total

Women

Men

 

All

18-49

50+

All

18-49

50+

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Labour

33

42

36.5

47

23.5

16

32

Greens

10.5

10.5

13.5

7.5

10.5

15.5

5

Labour/ Greens

43.5

52.5

50

54.5

34

31.5

37

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National

35

30

27

33.5

40

34.5

46

Act NZ

13.5

11

14.5

7.5

16.5

22

10.5

Maori Party

2.5

3.5

7

0

1

1

1

National/ Act NZ/ Maori Party

51

44.5

48.5

41

57.5

57.5

57.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Others

5.5

3

1.5

4.5

8.5

11

5.5

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating

Right Direction

48.5

52.5

50.5

54.5

44.5

44.5

44

Wrong Direction

42

38

40.5

35.5

45.5

44.5

47

Government Confidence Rating

106.5

114.5

110

119

99

100

97

Can’t say

9.5

9.5

9

10

10

11

9

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


*The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating is 100 plus the difference between the percentage of Kiwis who say the country is “heading in the right direction” and the percentage who say the country is “seriously heading in the wrong direction”.

Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating is 114.5 for Women compared to 99 for men

The party support trends are confirmed by the latest Roy Morgan Government Confidence figures which are far more positive for women than men.

The overall results for the genders show that a slim majority of 52.5% of women say New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to only 44.5% of men. In contrast only 38% of women say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction’ compared to nearly half of men (45.5%).

Overall, this produces a Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating of 114.5 for women compared to only 99 for men – a gap of over 15 points.

The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating is highest for women aged 50+ at 119 while for women aged 18-49 it is still clearly in positive territory at 110. There is less difference for men with a neutral Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating of 100 for men aged 18-49 and a slightly negative rating of 97 for men aged 50+ - the only cohort with a rating below the neutral level of 100. 

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says new Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon’s ‘honeymoon’ is continuing with support for National rising 3.5% points to 35% and now up 8.5% points in only two months since Luxon took over at the end of November 2021:

“Today’s Roy Morgan New Zealand Poll provides more confirmation that National made the right decision late last year to change leaders and install Christopher Luxon. Support for National is now at 35%, and at its highest since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and ahead of Labour (33%) for the first time since October 2019 more than two years ago.

“The rise in support for National since Luxon became leader (+8.5% points) has come at the expense of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party, down 3% points to 33% since Luxon became leader and also at the expense of fellow right-wing party Act NZ, down 4% points to 13.5% over the last two months. 

“For the second straight month a potential right-wing National/Act NZ ‘coalition’ government (48.5%) has more support than the current Labour/Greens ‘coalition’ government (43.5%).

“The support for the two sides of politics splits heavily on gender lines. A clear majority of 56.5% of men support either National or Act NZ compared to only 34% that support Labour or the Greens. In contrast a narrow majority of 52.5% of women support Labour or the Greens compared to 41% that support either National or Act NZ.

“The rise in support for National amongst men since Luxon came to power, while support for Labour has declined, has substantially widened the gap in favour of the Opposition to 22.5% amongst men. At the same time support for Labour amongst women has softened, although the governing parties still hold an advantage of 11.5% over the Opposition. The ‘gender gap’ is now working in favour of National and Act NZ.

“The big news in the last week has been that New Zealand is finally set to relax its stringent border controls. Fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens in Australia will be able to re-enter the country from the end of February and fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens elsewhere in the world will be able to do the same from mid-March.

“From there New Zealand’s borders will continue to gradually open with borders set to fully re-open to international tourists by later this year in October. It appears the Ardern Government has reacted to the increasing pressure, and decrease in support over recent months, as New Zealanders contemplated the rapidly re-opening global economy.

“The Australian Government announced just this week that the country’s international border would re-open to international tourists later this month.

“Although next year’s New Zealand Election felt like a foregone conclusion a few months ago a re-invigorated National, along with a continuing solid support for the libertarian-leaning Act NZ, will provide a significant challenge for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as she pursues a third straight election victory late next year.”


New Zealand Party Vote: 2020-22



Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January 2020 – January 2022.
Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 932.


New Zealand Party Vote: NZ Govt. v Parliamentary Opposition


Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January 2020 – January 2022.
Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 932.


Roy Morgan NZ Government Confidence Rating vs. ANZ-Roy Morgan NZ Consumer Confidence


Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January 2020 – January 2022.
Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 932.


Two-Party Preferred: Labour Party-led Government vs. Parliamentary Opposition Parties

PARTY VOTE

Labour

Green Party*

National

ACT NZ

Maori Party**

TOP**

NZ First

Other

ELECTIONS

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 12, 1996*

28.19

10.10

33.87

6.10

n/a

n/a

13.35

8.39

November 27, 1999

38.74

5.16

30.50

7.04

n/a

n/a

4.26

14.30

July 27, 2002

41.26

7.00

20.93

7.14

n/a

n/a

10.38

13.29

September 17, 2005

41.10

5.30

39.10

1.51

2.12

n/a

5.72

5.15

November 8, 2008

33.99

6.72

44.93

3.65

2.39

n/a

4.07

4.25

November 26, 2011

27.48

11.06

47.31

1.07

1.43

n/a

6.59

5.06

September 20, 2014  

25.13

10.70

47.04

0.69

1.32

n/a

8.66

6.46

September 23, 2017

36.89

6.27

44.45

0.50

1.18

2.44

7.20

1.07

October 17, 2020

50.01

7.86

25.58

7.59

1.17

1.51

2.60

3.70

ROY MORGAN POLL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 2020

44

12.5

25.5

10.5

1

2

1.5

3

December 2020

44

10.5

28

10

2

2

2

1.5

January 2021

47

11.5

25

9

2

1.5

2

2

February 2021

45

13.5

29

7.5

1

1

1.5

1.5

March 2021

45.5

12

23

11

1

2

2.5

3

April 2021

41.5

13.5

29.5

9

2.5

0.5

1

2.5

May 2021

45

11

28.5

9

1.5

1.5

2

1.5

June 2021

38.5

12.5

29.5

11.5

2.5

2

1.5

2

July 2021

39.5

10

29

13

2.5

3

2

1

August 2021

39.5

12

25

13

2.5

2

2.5

3.5

September 2021

45.5

9.5

23

16

2

1.5

1.5

1

October 2021

39.5

10.5

26

16

2

1

2.5

2.5

November 2021

36

10.5

26.5

17.5

3

1.5

2.5

2.5

December 2021

35.5

8.5

31.5

18.5

1

1

2

2

January 2022

33

10.5

35

13.5

2.5

1.5

2.5

1.5


*At the 2020 NZ Election the Labour party secured 50.01% of the vote which was enough to govern in their own right but Labour opted to sign a ‘Cooperation Agreement’ with the Greens, who won 7.86% of the vote. There were three Parties elected to Parliament not in Government led by National (25.58%), Act NZ (7.59%) and the Maori Party (1.17%).

Voting Intention Summary
The following table compares the latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Polls on Voting Intention with the result from the October 17, 2020 General Election:

PARTY VOTE

Labour

Green Party*

National

ACT NZ

Maori Party**

TOP**

NZ First

Other

ELECTIONS

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 12, 1996*

28.19

10.10

33.87

6.10

n/a

n/a

13.35

8.39

November 27, 1999

38.74

5.16

30.50

7.04

n/a

n/a

4.26

14.30

July 27, 2002

41.26

7.00

20.93

7.14

n/a

n/a

10.38

13.29

September 17, 2005

41.10

5.30

39.10

1.51

2.12

n/a

5.72

5.15

November 8, 2008

33.99

6.72

44.93

3.65

2.39

n/a

4.07

4.25

November 26, 2011

27.48

11.06

47.31

1.07

1.43

n/a

6.59

5.06

September 20, 2014  

25.13

10.70

47.04

0.69

1.32

n/a

8.66

6.46

September 23, 2017

36.89

6.27

44.45

0.50

1.18

2.44

7.20

1.07

October 17, 2020

50.01

7.86

25.58

7.59

1.17

1.51

2.60

3.70

ROY MORGAN POLL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 2020

44

12.5

25.5

10.5

1

2

1.5

3

December 2020

44

10.5

28

10

2

2

2

1.5

January 2021

47

11.5

25

9

2

1.5

2

2

February 2021

45

13.5

29

7.5

1

1

1.5

1.5

March 2021

45.5

12

23

11

1

2

2.5

3

April 2021

41.5

13.5

29.5

9

2.5

0.5

1

2.5

May 2021

45

11

28.5

9

1.5

1.5

2

1.5

June 2021

38.5

12.5

29.5

11.5

2.5

2

1.5

2

July 2021

39.5

10

29

13

2.5

3

2

1

August 2021

39.5

12

25

13

2.5

2

2.5

3.5

September 2021

45.5

9.5

23

16

2

1.5

1.5

1

October 2021

39.5

10.5

26

16

2

1

2.5

2.5

November 2021

36

10.5

26.5

17.5

3

1.5

2.5

2.5

December 2021

35.5

8.5

31.5

18.5

1

1

2

2

January 2022

33

10.5

35

13.5

2.5

1.5

2.5

1.5


NEW ZEALAND: HEADING IN “RIGHT” OR “WRONG” DIRECTION?
Electors were asked: “Generally speaking, do you feel that things in New Zealand are heading in the right direction or would you say things are seriously heading in the wrong direction?”

 

NZ Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating: Interviewing Dates (Labour Party Govt.)

 

Oct 30-Nov 12,
2017

Nov 27-Dec 10,
2017

January
2020

February
2020

March
2020

April
2020

May
2020

June
2020

July
2020

August
2020

Sept.
2020

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Right direction

66.5

68

58

59

60.5

77

76

72

71.5

71

70.5

Wrong direction

20

18

29.5

27

25.5

14

17.5

18.5

19

19

19.5

Roy Morgan GCR#

146.5

150

128.5

132

135

163

158.5

153.5

152.5

152

151

Can’t say

13.5

14

12.5

14

14

9

6.5

9.5

9.5

10

10

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100


 

NZ Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating: Interviewing Dates (Labour Party Govt.)

 

 

 

 

 

Oct.
2020

Nov.
2020

Dec.
2020

Jan.
2021

Feb.
2021

Mar.
2021

Apr.
2021

May
2021

June
2021

July
2021

Aug.
2021

Sept.
2021

Oct.
2021

Nov. 2021

Dec.

2021

Jan.
2022

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Right direction

68.5

69.5

71.5

71.5

69.5

61.5

62.5

62.5

57

55.5

52.5

57

48

46

42.5

48.5

Wrong direction

21

20

18

18.5

20

26

26.5

28.5

33

34.5

37.5

32

38.5

44.5

44.5

42

Roy Morgan GCR#

147.5

149.5

153.5

153

149.5

135.5

136

134

124

121

115

125

109.5

101.5

98

106.5

Can’t say

10.5

10.5

10.5

10

10.5

12.5

11

9

10

10

10

11

13.5

9.5

13

9.5

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

#Roy Morgan GCR = Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating (The Roy Morgan GCR is 100 plus the difference between the percentage of Kiwis who say the country is “heading in the right direction” and the percentage who say the country is “seriously heading in the wrong direction”).

The Roy Morgan Poll is conducted by the ONLY Australian and NZ member of the Gallup International Association.
No other public opinion poll taken in Australia or New Zealand has this qualification.



About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

1,000

±3.0

±2.7

±1.9

±1.3

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2