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Is the COVID-19 ‘honeymoon’ over for PM Jacinda Ardern?

Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January 2020 – June 2021. Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 927.
Support for New Zealand’s Labour/Greens government dropped 5% points to 51% in June – the lowest for the Government since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Support for the Labour Party was down 6.5% points to 38.5% while support for the Greens was up 1.5% points to 12.5%.

The governing parties are now just 7.5% points ahead of the Parliamentary opposition National/Act NZ/ Maori Party on 43.5%, up 4.5% points since May. Support for National was up 1% point to 29.5% in June and support for Act NZ was up 2.5% points to a record high of 11.5%. Support for the Maori Party support increased by 1% point to 2.5%.

A small minority of 5.5% of electors support other minor parties outside Parliament with support for NZ First down 0.5% points to 1.5% and The Opportunities Party (TOP) up 0.5% points to 2% in June.

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 June. Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?” Of all electors surveyed there were 4.5% (up 0.5% points) who didn’t name a party.

New Zealand Government Confidence Rating drops 10pts to pandemic low of 124 in June

The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating dropped by 10pts in June to 124 – the lowest it has been since October 2019 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June a reduced majority of 57% (down 5.5% points) of New Zealand electors said New Zealand was ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to nearly a third, 33% (up 4.5% points) who said New Zealand was ‘heading in the wrong direction’ – the highest figure for this indicator since Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern came to power in October 2017.

The latest monthly ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating was virtually unchanged in June at 114.1, up 0.1pts from May (114.0) and is now just above the corresponding Consumer Confidence figure in Australia of 112.2 on June 26/27, 2021.

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s long COVID-19 ‘honeymoon’ appears to be ending as Government Confidence is down and support for the Labour-led Government is at its lowest since October 2017:

“Today’s Roy Morgan New Zealand Poll shows the Labour-led Government has the support of 51% of New Zealand electors with support for the Labour Party at 38.5% and a further 12.5% supporting the Greens.

“Support for the Government is down 5% points on May 2021 and represents the lowest support for the Labour-led Government since coming to power in October 2017 and the lowest support for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party since December 2019.

“The latest results appear to show the long COVID ‘honeymoon’ enjoyed by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her excellent handling of the pandemic since March 2020 has finally ended. In addition, Roy Morgan Government Confidence has dropped 10pts to 124 in June – its lowest mark since the beginning of the pandemic.

“The slow pace of New Zealand’s vaccine rollout may be hitting confidence in the Government. By the end of June around 1.15 million doses of COVID-19 had been administered and around 9% of the population have been fully vaccinated – well below countries such as the UK and the USA which have fully vaccinated about 50% of their citizens.

“One of the favourable comparisons to be made is to near-neighbours Australia which has fully vaccinated only around 5% of its population. The consequence of the slow vaccination rate in Australia is on display now with small outbreaks of the ‘Delta strain’ of COVID-19 causing nearly half of the Australian population to be placed into new lockdowns.

“Support for the Opposition Parties in Parliament has increased to 43.5% (up 4.5% points) with National on 29.5% (up 1% point), the Maori Party on 2.5% (up 1% point) and Act NZ on 11.5% (up 2.5% points) – and at a new record high for the right-leaning libertarian party.

“The Labour-led Government’s lead over the Opposition is now 7.5% points, the narrowest gap between the two since Prime Minister Ardern’s election in 2017. The tightening race gives new hope for Opposition Leader Judith Collins that as the focus shifts beyond the initial response to COVID-19 the public are increasingly willing to listen to National’s policies.

“One factor that is in the Opposition’s favour is the economic performance of New Zealand compared to Australia. Over the year to March 2021 the New Zealand economy’s GDP shrank by 2.3% while in Australia there was an increase to GDP of 1.1% compared to a year earlier despite the bigger impact from the pandemic.”

New Zealand Party Vote: 2020-21

Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January 2020 – June 2021. Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 927.

New Zealand Party Vote: NZ Govt. v Parliamentary Opposition

Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January 2020 – June 2021. Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 927.

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

Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January 2020 – June 2021. Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 927.

Voting Intention Summary

The following table compares the latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Polls on Voting Intention with the result from the September 23, 2017 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

January 2020

40

10.5

40

3

1.5

0.5

2.5

2

February 2020

40.5

10.5

37

3.5

1

1.5

5

1

March 2020

42.5

11.5

37

3.5

0.5

1

3

1

April 2020

55

7

30.5

2.5

1.5

0.5

2.5

0.5

May 2020

56.5

7

26.5

3.5

1.5

1

2.5

1.5

June 2020

54.5

9

27

5

1

1.5

1.5

0.5

July 2020

53.5

8

26.5

6.5

0.5

1.5

1.5

2

August 2020

48

11.5

28.5

6

0.5

1

2.5

2

September 2020

47.5

9.5

28.5

7

0.5

1.5

2.5

3

NZ Election 2020

50

7.9

25.6

7.6

1.2

1.5

2.6

3.7

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

*The 1996 Election was the first New Zealand Election contested via MMP (Mixed Member Proportional). At the 1996 Election the Greens Party contested as part of the “Alliance” political grouping with four other political parties.
**The Maori Party was launched in July 2004. The Opportunities Party (TOP) was launched in November 2016.

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

Labour Party-led Government

(Labour, Greens)

Parliamentary
Opposition Parties
(National, Act NZ & Maori)

2020

NZ Election, October 17, 2020*

57.87

34.33

ROY MORGAN NEW ZEALAND POLL

Labour wins the NZ Election and, despite securing a majority of seats in Parliament,
signs a ‘Cooperation Agreement’ with the Greens – October 31, 2020

November 2020

56.5

37

December 2020

54.5

40

2021

January 2021

58.5

36

February 2021

58.5

37.5

March 2021

57.5

35

April 2021

55

41

May 2021

56

39

June 2021

51

43.5

*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%).