Newshub-Reid Research poll: Christopher Luxon zooms past Chris Hipkins in preferred-Prime Minister rankings

If Labour's 26.5 percent support in the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll isn't devastating enough for the party, the public is pouring salt on the wound with the preferred Prime Minister numbers.

For the first time in six years, Labour's leader is no longer the most popular.

The poll results show National's Christopher Luxon is on 24 percent, up 1.5, while Labour's Chris Hipkins has tumbled down 3.4 points to 19.1 percent. Luxon now has five points on Hipkins.

Meanwhile, ACT leader David Seymour and New Zealand First's Winston Peters are on near-level pegging, at 6.1 percent (down 0.9) and 6 percent (up 1.4) respectively.

The Greens' Chlöe Swarbrick is also gaining, up 1.2 to 4.4 percent.

So as Hipkins' popularity plummets - do the public want him to stick it out for the election?

He was in New Plymouth on Monday, behind the barbeque at a sausage sizzle.

Hipkins may rate what he's serving up and pleased with himself, but voters aren't.

Asked why people are turning off Labour and himself, Hipkins said: "I acknowledge it's been a very challenging period of time for New Zealanders lately with the cost of living, but we are seeing the economy turn a corner, inflation coming back down, we're seeing solid economic growth and we're seeing record-low unemployment."

Luxon was asked why he thought he was more popular than Hipkins.

"It's really about New Zealanders wanting to say, 'have we got leadership, energy and the team to get this job done for New Zealand'." 

Hipkins reckons he is still the one for the job, and Kiwis think he is too.

The Newshub-Reid Research poll asked, do you think Hipkins is the best person to lead the Labour Party?

The results show 56.4 percent said he was and 25.6 percent said he wasn't.

Hipkins said he is the best person to lead the party and he's just getting started.

The poll also tested whether voters believe Labour should do a Hail Mary, asking if Labour should change their leader before the election.

The results show just 17.3 percent said yes, while a majority, 69.4 percent, said Hipkins should stick it out.

Hipkins said he hasn't considered walking away.

But Labour is holding back the left-bloc.

"We are just focusing on our campaign. It is a really positive campaign focused on the future for New Zealand and clearly people are responding to that," said Greens co-leader James Shaw.

Labour on Monday looked to sure up swing voters concerned about climate change by releasing a climate manifesto.

"We have a proven track record of reducing New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions and because we have got a plan, a concrete plan, that we have set out that is going to continue to do that," said Hipkins.

It largely consolidates work it's already doing or has already announced, such as the Clean Car Discount and increasing the number of homes with solar panels. But releasing the promises in one big chunk also doubles as a stick to beat National with. 

"We are not seeing anything from the National Party that would reduce emissions in New Zealand," said Labour's energy spokesperson Megan Woods.

National's Chris Bishop said the party would roll out 10,000 public electric vehicle chargers by 2030.

But Woods said that is happening anyway with money in this year's Budget.

Labour's hoping voters will focus more on climate change than their apparent mood for political change. 

The Newshub-Reid Research poll was conducted between 17 September and 23 September 2023 with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.