NZ Election 2020: New poll shows increased support for 'no' vote in cannabis referendum

A new Newshub-Reid Research poll released on the eve of the election has revealed more Kiwis are now planning to vote 'no' in the cannabis referendum.

Newshub political editor Tova O'Brien released the results, which came in just before 3am on Friday, on The AM Show.

The results show recreational cannabis is likely to remain a criminal offence, but euthanasia looks set to pass.

Voters are being asked in a referendum whether they support the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which outlines a way for the Government to regulate cannabis.

Our poll asked: "Do you support the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill?"

  • 55.6 percent said 'no' (+5.1 points on the September 30 poll)
  • 38.3 percent said 'yes' (+0.4 points)
  • 5.7 percent 'didn't know' (-5.2 points)
  • 0.4 percent won't vote (-0.8 points)

O'Brien said even if all of the undecided voters vote 'yes' in the cannabis referendum it won't be enough to pass.

"It's looking like cannabis will be voted down," she said. 

"And we know that if it is it won't be coming back again under a Labour government if they are voted in on Saturday. It won't be coming back - a National government definitely won't be doing it as their entire caucus is opposing legalising cannabis."

During the poll, respondents were also questioned about how they are voting in the euthanasia referendum, which will determine whether those with six months or less to live should be able to choose a medically assisted death.

This week's poll asked: "Do you support the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force?"

  • 33.4 percent said 'no' (+7.9 points)
  • 56.1 percent said 'yes' (-5.5 points)
  • 9.5 percent said 'don't know' (-2.4 points)
  • 0.9 percent won't vote

Since the last Newshub-Reid research poll on September 30, more Kiwis have decided to vote 'no' in the euthanasia referendum (7.9 point increase) while the 'yes' camp has seen a decrease of 5.5 points.

"What this tells us is that it isn't actually the 'don't knows' or the undecided voters moving into the 'no' camp, it is 'yes' voters who are moving into the 'no' camp," O'Brien said. 

"So it still looks the euthanasia Act will pass but not by the comfortable margin David Seymour had hoped."

She pointed out even if all of the 9.5 percent of voters who said 'don't know' in the poll instead vote 'no' to the euthanasia referendum, the bill will still pass.

The results were delivered at 2:51am on Friday ahead of Saturday's election, which will elect the next New Zealand Government.

O'Brien said it was completed "to the wire".

"The reason we have done this poll, our last Newshub-Reid Research of the campaign period, is because we wanted to get right up to polling day - the most accurate results... 

"We have had two really good Newshub debates. Patrick Gower has led those debates on cannabis and euthanasia, and people are learning a lot more and so people are making more informed decisions."

Tune in on Three and from 7pm on Saturday for Newshub's Decision 2020 election special.