January 31, 2022

New Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon boosts support for National by 5% points – highest since March 2020 (pre-pandemic)

Topic: Public Opinion
Finding No: 8889
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Now 50% of New Zealand electors, up 6% points since November, support a potential National/ Act NZ coalition government – its highest level of support since Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern came to power in October 2017.

Support for a potential National/Act NZ coalition government increased by 6% points to 50% in December – its highest since Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern came to power in October 2017.

The increase was driven by support for National rising 5% points to 31.5%, to its highest since March 2020 (37%), while support for Act NZ was up 1% point to a new record high of 18.5%. Support for the Opposition Maori Party fell 2% points to 1% in December. 

New Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon took over leadership of National on November 30, 2021 from former leader Judith Collins and today’s result shows that the change is already receiving a positive response from the New Zealand electorate.

In contrast, support for New Zealand’s Labour/Greens ‘coalition’ government was down 2.5% points to 44% in December – the lowest combined level of support for the Government since Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took office just over four years ago. Labour support was down 0.5% points to 35.5% and support for the Greens decreased by 2% points to 8.5%.

A small minority of 5% of electors support other minor parties outside Parliament with support for New Zealand First down 0.5% points to 2%, The Opportunities Party down 0.5% points to 1% and support for the New Conservative Party down 0.5% points to 0.5% in December.

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 967 electors during December. 

Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?” Of all electors surveyed 6%, up 0.5% points, did not name a party.

New Zealand Government Confidence Rating drops 3.5pts to 98 in December – the lowest since Jacinda Ardern became Prime Minister over four years ago in late 2017 

The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating dropped by 3.5pts in December to 98 to be in negative territory for the first time since Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern came to office over four years ago in October 2017.

In December only 42.5% (down 3.5% points) of electors said New Zealand was ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to 44.5% (unchanged) who said New Zealand was ‘heading in the wrong direction’. 

The latest ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating for New Zealand was down by 0.6pts to 97.7 is slightly lower than the latest Government Confidence Rating and is now below the latest Consumer Confidence figure in Australia of 100.1 on January 17-23, 2022 as the highly contagious Omicron variant spread quickly around a re-opened Australia. 

Women 18-49 favour Labour/Greens while women 50+ and men (all ages) favour National/Act NZ 

Support for the Labour/ Greens coalition is strongest amongst younger women aged 18-49 at 59% compared to only 34% support for National/ Act NZ. For women aged 50+ support is split almost down the middle with National/ Act NZ on 49% just ahead of Labour/ Greens on 48.5%.

The smallest Parliamentary Opposition, the Maori Party, attracts the support of only 1% of women aged 18-49 and 1.5% of women aged 50+.

There is a stark difference for men with support flowing strongly to National/ Act NZ for men of all ages. In December 59.5% of men aged 18-49 supported National/ Act NZ compared to only 37% that supported Labour/ Greens. The difference is even greater for men aged 50+ with 60.5% supporting National/ Act NZ compared to only 31% supporting Labour/ Greens.

There is also a clear age divide amongst men with those aged 18-49 most likely to support Act NZ (30%) ahead of National (28%) and Labour (24.5%). In contrast, for men aged 50+ support for National is at 39.5%, clearly ahead of Labour (27%) and more than double support for Act NZ (19.5%).

The differences in support appear to relate to the ages of the two party leaders with new National Leader Christopher Luxon (aged 51) appealing to men aged 50+ while Act NZ Leader David Seymour (aged 38) has a stronger appeal to younger men aged 18-49.

The Maori Party attracts only 1.5% support from men of all ages.

Party vote analysis by Gender & Age

*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”. 

 

Total

Women

Men

 

All

18-49

50+

All

18-49

50+

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Labour

35.5

45.5

47

43.5

25.5

24.5

27

Greens

8.5

8.5

12

5

9

12.5

4

Labour/ Greens

44

54

59

48.5

34.5

37

31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National

31.5

30

28.5

31.5

33

28

39.5

Act NZ

18.5

11.5

5.5

17.5

25.5

30

19.5

Maori Party

1

1

1

1.5

1.5

1.5

1.5

National/ Act NZ/ Maori Party

51

42.5

35

50.5

60

59.5

60.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Others

5

3.5

6

1

5.5

3.5

8.5

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating

Right Direction

42.5

47

46

48

38

38.5

37

Wrong Direction

44.5

39

36

42.5

50

46.5

54.5

Government Confidence Rating

98

108

110

105.5

88

92

82.5

Can’t say

13

14

18

9.5

12

15

8.5

Total

100

100

100

100

100

100

100

Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating is 108 for Women compared to only 88 for men

The party support trends are confirmed by the latest Roy Morgan Government Confidence figures which are more positive for younger women than anyone else. The overall results for the genders show that 47% of women say New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to only 38% of men. In contrast only 39% of women say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction’ compared to exactly half of men (50%).

Overall, this produces a Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating of 108 for women compared to only 88 for men – a gap of 20 points (same as November 2021).

Nearly half of young women aged 18-49, 46%, say New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to only 36% that say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction’. This produces a Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating of 110 for women aged 18-49.

The Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating for women aged 50+ is marginally in positive territory at 105.5 while it is clearly in negative territory below the level of 100 for men aged 18-49 (92) and is lowest of all for men aged 50+ (82.5). 

Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says new Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon has made an immediate impact – increasing support for National by 5% points to 31.5% and putting a potential coalition of National/ Act NZ ahead of Labour/ Greens for the first time since 2017:

Block Quote

“Today’s Roy Morgan New Zealand Poll shows the decision by National to install Christopher Luxon as their new leader on the final day of November 2021 is paying off with support for National increasing 5% points to 31.5% – its highest level of support since the COVID-19 pandemic began nearly two years ago.

“Together with Act NZ, which has increased its support to a new record high of 18.5%, up 1% point since November, a combined National/Act NZ coalition is now attracting exactly 50% of support – easily its highest result since Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern came to power in 2017.

“Since the 2020 New Zealand Election (National: 25.6% and Act NZ: 7.6%) the two parties have increased their combined support by 16.8% points. During the same time period support for Labour has dropped by 14.5% points. Labour scored a record high 50% of the vote at the 2020 New Zealand Election to secure a record-setting majority for Ardern’s Government.

“The long honeymoon for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, which began in mid-2017 and was re-invigorated by Ardern’s deft handling of the COVID-19 pandemic which has kept New Zealanders safe from the virus over the last two years, is now clearly over as the country gets set for next year’s election.“The continuing restrictions in New Zealand, including the country’s strong border policies which have kept the country safe for the last two years are now being contrasted with relative freedom in many other countries around the world, including (most of) neighbour Australia.

“Although most Australian residents are now able to leave and return to the country with ease, there is still a period of quarantine for any New Zealanders returning from overseas. In the last week Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern introduced further restrictions that, for instance, cap weddings at a maximum of 100 fully vaccinated guests. The new restrictions even forced Ardern to delay her wedding to long-time partner Clarke Gayford.

“Nevertheless, the announcement that the highly contagious ‘Omicron variant’ has ‘breached’ New Zealand’s tough border quarantine conditions is set to see cases increase rapidly in the country over the next few weeks.

“The end of New Zealand’s isolation from COVID-19 will provide a new test to Prime Minister Ardern and create new opportunities for Opposition Leader Christopher Luxon to outline an alternative governance strategy as he settles into his role and attempts to further increase support for National over the next few months.”

New Zealand Party Vote: 2020-21 

Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January 2020 – December 2021. Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 931.   

New Zealand Party Vote: NZ Govt. v Parliamentary Opposition 

Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January 2020 – December 2021. Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 931. 

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

Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January 2020 – December 2021. Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 931.

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

 

Labour Party-led Government

(Labour, Greens)

Parliamentary
Opposition Parties
(National, Act NZ & Maori)

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

July 2021

49.5

44.5

August 2021

51.5

40.5

September 2021

55

41

October 2021

50

44

November 2021

46.5

47

December 2021

44

51

*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

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

*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.

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 Sep 2021 Oct 2021 Nov 2021 Dec 2021
% % % % % % % % % % % % % % %
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
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
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
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
TOTAL 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.

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
askroymorgan@roymorgan.com

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

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