Newshub-Reid Research poll: New results reveal if Kiwis think Chris Hipkins, Christopher Luxon are performing well or poorly

  • 15/05/2023

More than half of New Zealanders believe Prime Minister Chris Hipkins is performing well, while just a little more than 35 percent say the same thing about National's Christopher Luxon.

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll asked voters what they thought of the performance of the leaders of the two largest political parties.

The results, shared exclusively on Monday morning on AM by Newshub Political Editor Jenna Lynch, shows 55.6 percent of people think Hipkins is performing well and just 18.2 percent think he is performing poorly.

On the other hand, the results reveal 35.5 percent think Luxon is performing well and 34.7 percent believe he is performing poorly.

The rest either think the leaders are doing middling or they are unsure, Lynch explained.

Newshub-Reid Research poll: New results reveal if Kiwis think Chris Hipkins, Christopher Luxon are performing well or poorly

"This is bad news," Lynch said, referring to Luxon's numbers.

"Those performing well numbers are not high enough for Christopher Luxon and it is a theme that we are seeing with his results."

The results follow new figures on Sunday showing Hipkins was the preferred Prime Minister of 23.4 percent of voters (up 3.8 percentage points) and Luxon was the preferred Prime Minister of 16.4 percent (down 2.4 percentage points).

That's Luxon's lowest score on the rankings since becoming leader and is lower than what former leader Judith Collins secured on Newshub's poll the night before the 2020 election.

Luxon is also seen as out of touch by 47 percent of people, compared to just 37.2 percent who see him as in touch. With regards to Hipkins, 49.9 percent see him as in touch and 35.6 percent see him as out of touch.

Lynch said that the upcoming election is different to the 2020 election as that contest had two "personality-driven" leaders in Jacinda Ardern and Collins that people "feel a certain way about".

"Whereas Chris Luxon and Chris Hipkins, I don't think there's necessarily as much of that personality-driven politics, but the fact that [Luxon's] been in the in the job for a couple of years now and the public still isn't warming to him is problematic for Chris Luxon."

Lynch said this isn't "crisis territory" for Luxon, but "it just feels like the public isn't that into him".

The overall party results show things are neck and neck between Labour and National, with neither the traditional left nor right blocs able to secure 61 seats by themselves.

That puts Te Pāti Māori in the kingmaker position. It received 3.5 percent of the vote in the Newshub-Reid Research poll. Assuming it wins an electorate seat, it would secure five seats, enough to put either the left or right into power.

While National's ruled out working with Te Pāti Māori, Lynch said Hipkins is going to have to come out and make clear to the public what bottom lines of Te Pāti Māori's Labour won't accept.

"Some of those things are too far left of centre for the average voter to get on board with. That's where that narrative around 'coalition of chaos' could really start taking hold," she said.

Speaking to Newshub on Sunday, Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said the party was focused on its own work. 

"It doesn't really matter what the two Chrises say because their endgames are vastly different to ours. We have to be transformational," she said.

While Labour was down 2.1 points to 35.9 percent, Lynch said it was "surprising" that drop wasn't larger given the "couple of months from hell" it has had with the Stuart Nash and Meka Whaitiri dramas. 

"It just feels like Chris Hipkins has been in this constant like fire hose trying to get everything back under control. It has been chaotic and really surprising that National didn't gain from that."

National was down 1.3 points to 35.3 percent in the latest poll.

The Greens were unchanged on 8.1 percent despite the Dr Elizabeth Kerekere 'crybaby' scandal. ACT was up a smidge of 0.1 to 10.8 percent.

"It seems like people are sort of bedding into those minor parties as well and the drag race seems to be at the top with the majors," Lynch said.

The Newshub-Reid Research poll was conducted between 5 May – 11 May 2023 with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.