June 01, 2020

PM Jacinda Ardern ascendant as Labour support (56.5%) is now more than double National (26.5%) three months from NZ Election

Topic: Federal Poll, Press Release, Public Opinion
Finding No: 8429
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In May in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, and amidst gradual re-opening of the NZ economy, support for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party has soared to 56.5%. Labour Party support is up 1.5% since April and up a stunning 16.5% since January 2020 when the two major parties were locked at 40% support each.

The rise in support for Labour is such that were an election held today Labour could govern without the help of either New Zealand First or the Greens.

National support has dropped significantly to only 26.5% in May, down 4% from April and down 13.5% since January. The large drop in support for National over the last two months has seen the Opposition replace former leader Simon Bridges with Todd Muller in late May.

This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile – with a NZ wide cross-section of 894 electors during April 27 – May 24, 2020. Of all electors surveyed 5.5% (down 0.5%) didn’t name a party. Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?”

Support for the Labour/NZ First/Greens governing coalition hits a massive 66% in May

In May 66% of electors support the Labour/NZ First/Greens governing coalition, up 1.5% since April, and up 13% since January. The governing coalition is well ahead of the Parliamentary opposition National/ Act NZ on only 30%, down 3% since April, and down 13% since January.

The surge in support for Labour has come at the expense of not only the opposition National, but also governing partners NZ First and the Greens. NZ First are now below the party vote threshold of 5% and may be ejected from Parliament altogether at this year’s NZ Election in September if the voting intention translates into less than 5% of the vote.

  • Support for Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peter’s NZ First is at only 2.5% in May, unchanged since April, but down a significant 4.7% since their election result of 7.2% in 2017.
  • Greens support has also fallen in 2020 although is still comfortably above the 5% threshold at 7% in May, unchanged from April, but down 3.5% since January.
  • Support for Act NZ is now higher than it has been for many years at 3.5% in May, up 1% since April and a significant 3% higher than their 2017 election result of only 0.5%.

A small minority of 4% of electors support other minor parties outside Parliament.

  • Of the parties outside Parliament the Maori Party is at 1.5% in May, unchanged since April and The Opportunities Party (TOP) is now on 1% (up 0.5%).

New Zealand Government Confidence Rating at near record high of 158.5 in May

Despite a small decline, the Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating is at a very high 158.5 in May, down 4.5pts from the record high of 163 reached in April.

A stunning majority of 76% of New Zealand electors (down 1% since April) say New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to only 17.5% (up 3.5%) that say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction’.

In contrast to the soaring Government Confidence Rating the monthly ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating plunged during March and April, but has now recovered significant ground in May increasing 12.5pts to 97.3 as the lockdown began to be eased from Tuesday April 28.

Although both indices started 2020 in a similar place with Government Confidence at 128.5 in January and ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence at 122.7 – they have moved in the opposite direction since. Government Confidence is now around 30pts higher in May while Consumer Confidence is now about 25pts lower than where it started the year – although now recovering.

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic this year has led the world and New Zealand is now re-opening its economy with the virus almost completely eliminated from the country:

Block Quote

“Today’s special Roy Morgan New Zealand Poll shows strong, decisive and competent leadership well executed pays huge political dividends. Support for the Ardern-led Labour Party has soared in 2020 after starting at level-pegging with the Simon Bridges-led National Party opposition in January – both major parties were tied at 40% support to start the year.

“Since January support for the Labour Party has increased 16.5% to a record high 56.5% in May – including a stunning jump of 12.5% in April alone. The rise in support came as the effectiveness of the national lockdown implemented by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Government in late March began to show results and COVID-19 infections rates plummeted.

“At the same time, support for National has collapsed to a near twenty-year low of only 26.5% in May. The last time National received so little support was in December 2002 when a Roy Morgan New Zealand Poll showed the party with support of only 21.5%. In response to the loss of support National has now replaced Bridges with new leader Todd Muller.

“Today’s results show Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is set for a crushing electoral victory in September when the country returns to the polls. Labour is well-on course to win a clear majority of seats in New Zealand’s Parliament without the need for support from governing partners NZ First – who may not be returned to Parliament, or the Greens.

“A Roy Morgan SMS Poll conducted in Australia in March showed Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has the highest Net Trust Score of any political leaders – according to Australians. Today’s Roy Morgan Poll suggests New Zealanders are increasingly likely to demonstrate their trust in Ardern’s leadership by returning her to power in three months-time with a ‘thumping’ majority.”

New Zealand Party Vote: 2020

Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January – May 2020. Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 900.

New Zealand Party Vote: NZ Govt. v Parliamentary Opposition

Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January – May 2020. Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 900.

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

Source: Roy Morgan New Zealand Single Source. January – May 2020. Base: New Zealand electors aged 18+. Average interviews per month = 900.

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 NZ First Green Party* National ACT NZ Other
ELECTIONS % % % % % %
October 12, 1996* 28.19 13.35 10.10 33.87 6.10 8.39
November 27, 1999 38.74 4.26 5.16 30.50 7.04 14.30
July 27, 2002 41.26 10.38 7.00 20.93 7.14 13.29
September 17, 2005 41.10 5.72 5.30 39.10 1.51 7.27
November 8, 2008 33.99 4.07 6.72 44.93 3.65 6.64
November 26, 2011 27.48 6.59 11.06 47.31 1.07 6.49
September 20, 2014 25.13 8.66 10.70 47.04 0.69 7.78
September 23, 2017 36.89 7.20 6.27 44.45 0.50 4.69
ROY MORGAN POLL
Oct 2-15, 2017 31 6.5 11 46 0.5 5
Oct 30-Nov 12, 2017 39.5 5 10 40.5 0.5 4.5
Nov 27-Dec 10, 2017 37 8 10 40.5 0.5 4
2020
January 2020 40 2.5 10.5 40 3 4
February 2020 40.5 5 10.5 37 3.5 3.5
March 2020 42.5 3 11.5 37 3.5 2.5
April 2020 55 2.5 7 30.5 2.5 2.5
May 2020 56.5 2.5 7 26.5 3.5 4

*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.

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

Labour Party-led Government

(Labour, NZ First, Greens)

Parliamentary Opposition Parties
(National & Act NZ)
Election, September 23, 2017* 50.36 44.95
ROY MORGAN NEW ZEALAND POLL    
Oct 2-15, 2017 48.5 46.5
NZ First under leader Winston Peters decides to support Labour’s Jacinda Ardern for PM  
Oct 30-Nov 12, 2017 54.5 41  
Nov 27-Dec 10, 2017 55 41  
2020  
January 2020 53 43  
February 2020 56 40.5  
March 2020 57 40.5  
April 2020 64.5 33  
National elects new leader Todd Muller to replace Simon Bridges – May 22, 2020  
May 2020 66 30

*At the 2017 New Zealand Election the National-led Government returned only two parties (National & Act NZ) who received 44.95% of the vote compared to 50.36% that went to the three Parliamentary Opposition Parties: Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens.

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 (National Party Govt.)
June 8-21,
2015
June 29-July 12,
2015
Aug 3-16,
2015
Aug 31-Sep 13,
2015
Sep 28-Oct 11,
2015
Oct 26- Nov 8,

2015

Nov 23-Dec 6,
2015
% % % % % % %
Right direction 62.5 51 54 58 53 60 59.5
Wrong direction 27 33 34 29.5 31 28.5 31
Roy Morgan GCR# 135.5 118 120 128.5 122 131.5 128.5
Can’t say 10.5 16 12 12.5 16 11.5 9.5
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
NZ Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating: Interviewing Dates (National Party Govt.)
Jan 4-17,
2016
Feb 1-14,
2016
Feb 29-Mar 13,
2016
Apr 4-17,

2016

May 2-15,

2016

May 30-June 12,

2016

Jul 4-17,

2016

Aug 8-21,
2016
% % % % % % % %
Right direction 59.5 56.5 61 57.5 59 54.5 57.5 58
Wrong direction 28 28.5 29 30.5 29 34 30.5 30.5
Roy Morgan GCR# 131.5 128 132 127 130 120.5 127 127.5
Can’t say 12.5 15 10 12 12 11.5 12 11.5
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
NZ Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating: Interviewing Dates (National Party Govt.)
Sep 5-18,

2016

Oct 10-23,

2016

Nov 7-20,

2016

Nov 28-Dec 11,
2016
Jan 3-16,

2017

Jan 30-Feb 12,

2017

Feb 27-Mar 12,

2017

April 3-16,

2017

 
% % % % % % % %  
Right direction 52 55.5 65 58.5 63 63.5 61.5 58  
Wrong direction 35 29 24 27.5 23 23.5 25.5 29  
Roy Morgan GCR# 117 126.5 141 131 140 140 136 129  
Can’t say 13 15.5 11 14 14 13 13 13  
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
NZ Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating: Interviewing Dates (National Party Govt.)
May 1-14,

2017

May 29-Jun 11,
2017
Jun 26-Jul 9,
2017
July 31-Aug 13,
2017
Aug 28-Sep 10,
2017
Oct 2-15,
2017
 
% % % % % %
Right direction 60.5 61.5 63 62.5 62 58.5
Wrong direction 27 27 23.5 23.5 25 27.5
Roy Morgan GCR# 133.5 134.5 139.5 139 137 131  
Can’t say 12.5 11.5 13.5 14 13 14
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100
NZ Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating: Interviewing Dates (Labour Party Govt.)
Oct 30-Nov 12,
2017
Nov 27-Dec 10,
2017
Jan
2020
Feb
2020
Mar
2020
Apr
2020
May
2020
% % % % % % %
Right direction 66.5 68 58 59 60.5 77 76
Wrong direction 20 18 29.5 27 25.5 14 17.5
Roy Morgan GCR# 146.5 150 128.5 132 135 163 158.5
Can’t say 13.5 14 12.5 14 14 9 6.5
TOTAL 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

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Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309
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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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