Another Opinion Poll brings bad news for National and Bridges

One News Colmar Brunton respondents elevate Jacinda Ardern to 63%

Venkat Raman

Jacinda Ardern and Simon Bridges (RNZ/Getty Images)

Auckland, May 21, 2020

Even as he prepares to battle for his position as the Leader of National Party at an emergency Caucus meeting in Wellington tomorrow (Friday, May 21, 2020), Simon Bridges has suffered another blow at the just released One News Colmar Brunton Poll.

It placed him at 6% as the preferred Prime Minister, down by 5% from the previous Poll.

Jacinda Ardern record high

Jacinda Ardern reached 63% as the preferred Prime Minister, up by 21 percentage points from the previous Poll, the highest ever. Judith Collins (National) remained at 3%, while Winston Peters (New Zealand First) lost two percentage points to reach 1% rating.

The Colmar Bruton Poll involved 1003 voters over landline and mobile phones between May 16, to May 20, 2020- days after the government announced its Budget 2020.

The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level.

The data has been weighted to align with Stats NZ population counts for age, gender, region, ethnic identification and mobile or landline access.

Ms Ardern who polled the highest in the 25-year history of One News Colmar Brunton Poll, had 51% rating on April 15, 2019, a month after the Christchurch Massacre. Her compassionate response to the terrorist attack, unheard of in New Zealand, catapulted her to the world stage and her handling of the Covid-19 health crisis has enhanced her image.

Second blow for Bridges

This is a second blow for Mr Bridges and National Party this week.

On Monday, (May 18, 2020), the latest Newshub Reid-Research Poll gave Labour Party 56.5% rating (up by 14 percent points over its previous poll), while National was at 30.6%, losing 12.7 percentage points. The Green Party was marginally above the 5% threshold while New Zealand First dropped to 2.7%, compared to the previous poll.

The Colmar Brunton Poll has again pushed Mr Bridges to negative territory to -40 (from the previous -22%), while Ms Ardern was high at 76%. About 86% of the respondents said that they approved the way Ms Ardern’s performance as the Prime Minister, up from 62% in October 2019.

Those who did not like her style of functioning, dropped to 10% from 29% in the previous poll.

Supporters on both sides

“The groups of people who were more likely than average (86) to approve of how Ms Ardern was handling her job were Labour Party supporters, people with an annual household income of $30,001 to $70,000, and women aged 55 and over. Those more likely than average (10%) to disapprove were National Party supporters (28%), people living in Taranaki or Manawatu-Wanganui (18%) and men aged over 55 (16%),” the Colmar Brunton report said.

When asked if they approved or disapproved of the way Mr Bridges was handling his job as Leader of the National Party, 22% of those polled approved and 63% disapproved. This was compared to 29% approving last October and 51% disapproving.

New Zealanders of Asian Zealander origin, men aged 55 and National Party supporters were among those who approved Mr Bridges as a Leader.

Those who did not approve Mr Bridges were households with an annual income of more than $150,000, women aged 55 and over and New Zealand Europeans.

Todd Muller, National’s Member of Parliament from Bay of Plenty is to challenge Mr Bridges’ leadership at the Party’s Caucus meeting in Wellington tomorrow. He has chosen Central Auckland MP Nikki Kaye as his Deputy.

National MPs will cast their vote in a secret ballot. The winner would need 28 seats. At the time of reporting, there were only two candidates for the Leader’s position.

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