NZ Election 2020: Coronavirus will impact how New Zealanders abroad vote - expert

An election expert believes COVID-19 will have impacted urgency for New Zealanders abroad to vote.

Polls open overseas on Wednesday for both the general election and euthanasia and cannabis referendums.

Massey University academic Andy Asquith says many people are concerned with what's happening in New Zealand, and the coronavirus pandemic may have changed people's priorities.

"People might think, 'I'll pay more of an interest this year because although I haven't planned going home, that's now firmly on my agenda,'" Dr Asquith told Newshub on Tuesday.

Dr Asquith said he expects overseas turnout to be up because of the referendums. 

He also believes international plaudits received by Jacinda Ardern, who's vying for a second term, may influence how New Zealanders abroad will vote. That doesn't bode well for other parties, he said.

"The world media were quite excited about what we were doing - what the Prime Minister was doing - and if that wave of excitement continued then the 'Jacindamania' could well play a part."

NZ Election 2020: Coronavirus will impact how New Zealanders abroad vote - expert

Speaking to The AM Show on Wednesday, Newshub political editor Tova O'Brien said border policies may be something Kiwis abroad will consider before casting their vote.

"There are a few factors in there, as well, that people might be weighing up and perhaps looking at the different border policies and taking those into consideration."

National leader Judith Collins on Tuesday urged Kiwis to vote National if they want to avoid a "far-left Government".

"I think people can see that the centre-right is coming up and that the centre-left and far-left is going down," she told a news conference.

Sunday's Newshub-Reid Research poll showed National was just below 30 percent, with Labour able to govern alone on 50.1 percent.