Election 2020: Labour Party supporters confident Jacinda Ardern can win after party's conference

Labour Party members are confident Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will lead them to a victory in the election.

At the Labour conference in Wellington on Sunday, one supporter, mana whenua Peter Jackson, said Labour can win outright this election since Ardern is the party's leader.

"[She's] our Prime Minister and New Zealand's saviour," he said.

Ardern outlined a big COVID-19 recovery plan during the conference, saying checks and balances were progressing for a trans-Tasman bubble and also reconnecting with Pacific countries.

The Government is apparently ready to go, but it's a case of waiting for Australia.

"What's the hold up then for hitting the go button? You may or may not have seen the state of Victoria is in a very difficult state at the moment and it's up to them whether they chose to move state by state or as a whole," she said.

Ardern suggested Australia is not interested in state-by-state bubbles, despite parts of the country being COVID-19-free in the community like us.

National Party leader Todd Muller is blaming Labour for dragging the chain.

"The borders stay close and we wait I guess for a vaccine. That is a recipe for economic disaster in this country," he says.

But he hasn't yet hatched a plan of his own.

"We're doing some deep thinking of what that could look like."

Neither of Labour's big announcements at its conference were new. It extended the existing loan scheme for small businesses who are suffering due to COVID-19, and it revealed $162 million would go towards creating 2000 green jobs to help clean up New Zealand's waterways.

Tova O'Brien's analysis

If Jacinda Ardern is certain she'll win the election, she certainly didn't say so publicly. Hubris serves no politician well when they're trying to get re-elected, and neither the ninth floor nor the party proper were particularly stoked with the "New Zealand's saviour" comment.

The Prime Minister has had a good run getting the country through the health response to COVID-19, and that's why there's the blurring of the lines between wearing her Prime Minister hat and wearing her Labour leader's hat. The party wants you to conflate the two when you're thinking about whose box to tick in 76 days' time.

But if a day is a long time in politics, 76 is a lifetime. The polls are looking good for Labour, but sometimes when you're on top, staying up there can be the hardest thing.