Jacinda Ardern's resignation gives Labour better chance at 2023 election - Patrick Gower

Newshub's Patrick Gower says Labour has a better chance at this year's election now the "incredibly polarising" Jacinda Ardern has resigned.  

Ardern announced her resignation last week, saying she would not seek re-election as she "no longer has enough in the tank" to continue with the role. 

Ardern will formally tender her resignation at Government House on Wednesday and Chris Hipkins will be sworn in as Prime Minister.

Ardern also confirmed the 2023 election would be held on October 14 and Gower believes Labour is better placed to defeat National with Hipkins at the helm. 

"It's an absolutely phenomenal political story, including her decline. It was always exciting while Jacinda Ardern was Prime Minister including her dramatic decline, which is probably the ultimate illustration that political popularity is temporary and when it goes, it goes big time," Gower told AM on Wednesday. 

"She saw that before a lot of other people. She was incredibly polarising and I honestly think she has given them a better chance at this election without her there."

Ardern's popularity in the polls has declined recently with the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll not pretty reading for Ardern.

Labour dropped a whopping 5.9 points down to 32.3 percent - its lowest result since Ardern took the helm of the Labour Party in 2017. 

But the change of leadership could see a change of fortunes at the poll, with Gower saying Hipkins needs to focus on scrapping "out a victory".

"Forget about all this political phenomenon and the excitement, scrap out a war of attrition and get Labour back into power like the old days, like Helen Clark and that used to do," Gower said. 

"He knows how to do this. It's in his and Grant Robertson's DNA. Keep Labour in the thirties. Get to 35 on election day. Hope the Greens get a good result and the Māori Party grabs a couple of seats. Win by one seat, knock National out of there and take it out. They know how to do this."

Appearing on AM alongside Gower, political commentator Trish Sherson thought it was a calculated move for Ardern to resign. 

"I thought it was a very calculated move from Ardern and probably based on the fact that she wanted to protect her personal brand, to go on and do other things, perhaps international roles," Sherson said.

"[It's] much harder to do that if you've lost an election as Prime Minister, than if you've got out, as she did before the polling."  

Watch the full interview with Paddy Gower and Trish Sherson above.