Newshub poll: Labour soars to popularity not seen for a decade

Labour is soaring.

According to the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll, Labour's polling is at its highest level since 2007, when Helen Clark was Prime Minister, Winston Peters was in support in confidence and supply and Rihanna's 'Umbrella' was New Zealand's top single.

The poll's party vote has Labour on 42 percent, up 5.4 percentage points since the election.

But Labour's rise hasn't come at the expense of National, which is almost unchanged since the election. At 44.5 percent, National's popularity has shifted just 0.1 percent, a slight increase.

Newshub poll: Labour soars to popularity not seen for a decade
Photo credit: Newshub.

Labour has swallowed its coalition partner New Zealand First whole, closing the gap between National and Labour to the lowest since 2007, at 2.2 percent.

It's devastating for NZ First. It is currently polling so low it doesn't reach the essential 5 percent mark - the minimum percentage of the party vote required to enter Parliament. It's lost about half its support, down to 3.8 percent of the party vote.

Opposition leader Bill English has dismissed the rise as "just a honeymoon period", but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says that's not the case.

"I want to prove this coalition Government is going to deliver," she told Newshub.

The continued popularity of the major parties puts minor parties in a difficult spot. The Green Party is down 0.3 points since the election, to 6 percent, and ACT has 0.2 percent of the party vote on this poll.

Quick facts from Newshub's poll

  1. The Party vote has Labour on 42 percent - up 5.4 percent since the election.

  2. National is steady on 44.5 percent - up 0.1 percent since the election.

  3. The gap between Labour and National is the closest between the parties since 2007.

  4. The Greens are on 6 percent - down 0.3 percent since the election.

  5. NZ First has lost about half its support since the election - at 3.8 percent, it's down by 3.4 points. Most of that lost support has gone to the Labour Party.

This is the first Newshub-Reid Research poll since the election.

It maps party popularity, tests the mood on prefered Prime Minister and respondents are asked to rate the performance of the Prime Minister and the leader of the Opposition.

The coalition curse

New Zealand First has been struck with the coalition curse. It has gained power, but at the expense of an independent voice.

This has happened before for NZ First. Its support dropped dramatically following both its 1996 coalition deal with National in and its 2005 confidence and supply agreement with Labour.

There's an urban legend about a woman who kept a pet python. The python grew to love her so much that it would sleep next to her in bed at night, the woman told the vet.

"Stop that immediately," the vet said, blood running cold.

"That python doesn't love you. It's sizing you up. When it grows as long as you, it will swallow you whole."

If Labour's a python, it just swallowed its keeper.

Jacinda Ardern rises while Bill English sinks as preferred Prime Minister

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has jumped up the ranks as preferred Prime Minister in the latest Newshub-Reid research poll.

Ms Ardern is sitting at 38 percent - up 8.3 points since the last poll.

Newshub's poll asks respondents to rate the performance of their Prime Minister. Ms Ardern has the highest rating since October 2011, when John Key was Prime Minister. 70 percent of New Zealanders believe she is performing well.

Meanwhile, National leader Bill English has dropped 9 points since the last poll to 26 percent. He continues to have solid backing, with 53 percent of New Zealanders positive about Mr English's performance as leader of the Opposition.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is sitting at 5.7 percent as the preferred Prime Minister. He's dipped 1.4 points since the last poll.

How Newshub's polls work

Newshub-Reid Research interviews were conducted using online polling and computer-assisted telephone interviewing. Some 750 people were interviewed by phone and 250 online between Thursday, January 18 and Sunday, January 28.

Data is weighted to ensure a cross-section of representation of age, gender and geography.

The sample error is maximum of +/-3.1 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.