NZ Election 2020: New Zealand First losing support with voter 'migration' to ACT Party - political commentator

New Zealand First seems to be waving goodbye to support as they are swept up by the rising ACT Party, according to the latest Newshub-Reid Research Poll.

The poll revealed NZ First is now below the 2 percent mark at 1.9 percent - well below the 5 percent threshold needed to get back into Parliament.

Leader Winston Peters said on Sunday he was feeling confident despite the results, but political commentator Grant Duncan says voters are jumping ship.

"There's been quite a lot of migration of support from New Zealand First to the ACT Party, so I think that is largely where ACT is picking up that extra support from," Duncan told Newshub on Sunday. 

ACT is up by three points at 6.3 percent, according to the poll. Labour, meanwhile, may be able to govern alone with support at 50.1 percent.

That support is a dip of 10.8 points from the last poll, but support for the Opposition National Party remains at just 29.6 percent.

Duncan isn't surprised that support for Labour has dropped as New Zealand rides out the COVID-19 wave.

NZ First leader Winston Peters, left, and ACT leader David Seymour.
NZ First leader Winston Peters, left, and ACT leader David Seymour. Photo credit: Getty / Newshub.

He said poll numbers always fluctuate.

"It's reasonable to expect that they would have come down quite a bit from previous highs of up 60 percent in the polls - we'd have to expect that Labour's probably going to end up a little bit south of 50 percent."

Duncan believes the party has a balancing act on its hands and said its economic plan needs to be robust.

"You've got to have a really really strong narrative," he said.

Newshub-Reid Research Poll data showed 83 percent of those who Labour in 2017 will vote for the party again this year, while 21 percent of those who voted National last election will opt to swing to Labour.

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll was conducted between September 16-23 2020 and 1000 people were surveyed - 700 by telephone and 300 by internet panel. It has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.