Newshub-Reid Research poll results: Nearly half of Kiwis don't trust Christopher Luxon, Chris Hipkins' trust ranking sliding too

The latest Newshub-Reid Research results reveal Labour is losing the public's support, while National and ACT could form a Government.

Labour is down 3.6 points to 32.3 percent, while National is up 1.3 points to 36.6 percent.

The ACT Party is on 12.1 percent, up 1.3 points, while the Greens are up 1.5 points to 9.6 percent. Te Pāti Māori has slipped slightly, down 0.8 to 2.7 percent. 

Meanwhile New Zealand First is on 4.1 percent, up 1.1 points, and The Opportunities Party is down 0.5 to 1.5 percent. 

Last week, Labour leader Chris Hipkins tucked into a cup of chocolate. But there's nothing sweet about these poll results with Labour losing it. 

"I think New Zealanders will have seen the Government's been dealing with some pretty gnarly and difficult issues and we've had a few issues internally as well," he told Newshub on Wednesday.

That's an understatement. It's been ministerial mayhem. 

Stuart Nash was sacked from Cabinet for leaking confidential information to donors, Meka Whaitiri defected from Labour for Te Pāti Māori, Michael Wood resigned over his shares scandal, and Kiri Allan stood down after allegedly crashing her car and being arrested.

"There's no question that that would have played a role in the minds of voters," Hipkins said.

The Allan car crash is a symbol of Labour's own crash.

"We've had a bumpy ride as a team over the last few months," said Hipkins. "I’m absolutely confident that that's going to end."

But while the issues have dented the party, Hipkins himself has escaped unscathed.

In the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll, we asked whether Hipkins handled the situation around Allan's resignation well or poorly.

The majority backed Hipkins, with 53.3 percent saying he handled it well. Just 19.5 percent said he handled it poorly, while the rest weren't sure. 

Newshub-Reid Research poll results: Nearly half of Kiwis don't trust Christopher Luxon, Chris Hipkins' trust ranking sliding too

"It's one of those things I found really difficult and I’ll be really open about that," he said.

"You can look back in hindsight and think, would I do things differently if I knew then what I know now. Of course I would but I didn't have that information at the time."

Without drama to deal with, National leader Christopher Luxon’s been hitting the campaigning hard and getting fired up.

But time is running out for Luxon to prove he’s likeable. He disagrees that the longer he spends in the role, the less people like him. 

"What I’d say to you is they gotta know that they can trust myself as Prime Minister," he said.

Asked whether he thought New Zealanders trusted him, Luxon replied: "Yes I do, I think they do."

But no, they don't. 

The Newshub-Reid Research poll asked voters whether they trust the leaders.

Only 35 percent said they trust Luxon, a drop of 1.9 points since we last asked in January.

The number who don’t trust him is growing. It's at 46.9 percent, up 3.1 points.

The Prime Minister's trust is falling away too.

A majority still trust him - 51.5 percent. But that's down 1.4 points. Those who don't trust him are growing, with 34.9 percent saying they don't. That's up 8 points. 

Newshub-Reid Research poll results: Nearly half of Kiwis don't trust Christopher Luxon, Chris Hipkins' trust ranking sliding too

Luxon has an easier job shaking off his personality problems because his party is the most popular.

"I think I’ve made tremendous progress leading this party," he said. 

But the backseat driver is making too much noise, with ACT's David Seymour swiftly drawing up his list of demands - three bottom lines. 

"We must make sense of the treaty in a democratic, multi-ethnic, modern society," said Seymour. "We must shift the pendulum back from rights of offenders to rights of victims, and we must end the Government waste, red tape and regulation."

He might have to make room at the table as Luxon is still not ruling out wooing Winston Peters.

"Frankly he’s not in Parliament, he’s not above the threshold, so it’s not a consideration," said Luxon.

Across the board voters are drifting away from the two motherships, and the Greens are keen to grab them.

"This election is all to play for and clearly, it is going to be a very, very close election and what that tells me is every vote matters, your vote counts," said co-leader James Shaw. 

Te Pāti Māori is chuffed with whatever they get.

"2.7 [percent], I can tell you it is better than the 1.2 [percent] we came in with, which brought [Debbie Ngarewa-Packer] in," said co-leader Rawiri Waititi.

But they need their major party to pull ahead.

"I think New Zealanders will see something different from the Labour party and I think our numbers will go up," said Hipkins. 

He is stoic in the face of scandal.

"We really need to sharpen up and I’m absolutely confident we’re going to do that."

He's refusing to concede.

"I've only got one plan and that is to win."

There's still some fight left in the boy from the Hutt.

The Newshub-Reid Research poll was conducted between 26 July – 31 July 2023 with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.