Simon Bridges has work cut out for him

Latest Poll puts Labour ahead of National

Colin James (RNZ)

Wellington, March 13, 2018

Labour’s latest average is 44.0%, against National’s 42.7%.

Except for a few feverish days during the 2017 election campaign, the last time Labour-led National on poll average in normal times was February 2007.

New National leader Simon Bridges has work to do to arrest Labour’s steady climb to seven percentage points above its election score and reverse the slow post-election slide in his own party’s support.

Bridges does have a strong foundation.

National’s average is far higher than its 28%-30% or so in early 2000 after losing office in 1999.

Labour hovered around 30% in early 2009 after losing office in 2008.

Rebuilding a must

But Bridges will have to do his rebuilding against headwinds: steadily climbing support for Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister to levels matching Sir John Key’s high, early popularity and strongly positive measures of whether the country is on the right or wrong track.

Moreover, National has only ACT beside it against the three governing parties, which have a combined average of 54.7%.

That figure masks New Zealand First’s fall to 4.0%, below the 5% threshold for seats in Parliament and well below its 7.2% election score. But Labour and the Greens alone total 50.7%. The Greens latest average is 6.7%, above their election 6.3%.

Labour surges ahead

That gives Labour+Greens a commanding 8.0% lead over National.

The small parties all languish: ACT 0.4% and the out-of-Parliament Maori party and Opportunities party 1.1% each.

In the previous poll of polls, of two polls taken in January and one in early February, Labour was 43.4%, National 43.5%, Greens 6.3% and New Zealand First 3.9%.

The latest average of is one late-January and two February polls.

The poll average is drawn from One News Colmar Brunton, Newshub Reid Research, Roy Morgan and the unpublished UMR Research polls.

Colin James is a Political Analyst at Radio New Zealand. Indian Newslink has published the above Report and Picture under a Special Agreement with www.rnz.co.nz

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Photo Caption:

Simon Bridges with Paula Bennett (RNZ Picture by Rebekah Parsons-King)

Poll Chart by RNZ

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