Voters think Jacinda Ardern better than Todd Muller to manage both pandemic response and economic recovery - poll

Out of the current crop of political leaders, more than half of voters would pick Jacinda Ardern to lead the COVID-19 economic recovery, a new poll has found.

The current Prime Minister had the backing of 53 percent of respondents in the latest Horizon poll, with her rival for the top job Todd Muller only getting 24 percent. The result is a near-match for the latest party polling, - Labour getting 56 percent to National's 26 in the latest Roy Morgan poll, released nearly three weeks ago.

Third place was 'none of these', with 13 percent, followed by NZ First leader Winston Peters on 4 percent, ACT's David Seymour on 3 percent, and the Green Party leadership duo of Marama Davidson and James Shaw on 2 percent. 

"Ardern has the advantage of having been involved in the pandemic response from the outset," Horizon said in a statement. "Muller has not been visible through the response phase, except at the tail end when the focus was on economic recovery."

As for health, the poll found 66 percent back Ardern and only 14 percent Muller.

The only demographics to rate Muller over Ardern when it came to the health response were the super-rich - earning $200,000 or more a year - and those who voted for the Conservative Party in 2017. Men, while still preferring Ardern overall, rated Muller slightly higher than women. 

But when it comes to the economic recovery, a few more groups preferred Muller - including those aged 65 and over, farmers and National voters. Business owners and the self-employed had Ardern and Muller tied.

Conservative Party voters were the only group to rank David Seymour as best-placed to manage the economic recovery.

Voters on who they'd trust with the economy.
Voters on who they'd trust with the economy. Photo credit: Horizon
Voters on who they'd trust with their health
Voters on who they'd trust with their health. Photo credit: Horizon

The National Party has largely approved of the Government's handling of the health response, at least up until isolation breaches at the border were revealed in the past week, but has sought to position itself as a better bet for the economic recovery.

The polling was conducted in the few days before the managed isolation breaches were reported. Horizon says it has a margin of error of 2.5 percent.