Māori party kingmakers as Nats slump in political poll

By Will Trafford

Te Pāti Māori could be the kingmaker of next year’s general election if results from the latest Roy Morgan political poll were to be repeated on election day.

The poll of respondents from October indicates the current Labour/Greens government are tied at 44.5 per cent against a National/Act NZ coalition, while support for smaller parties rose by 1.5 per cent to 11 per cent.

The Māori Party, with 3 per cent support and a potential four seats in the new Parliament, would decide which of the two coalitions would form the next Government on current numbers.

The government’s popularity increased 2.5 per cent, bridging the gap with a hypothetical National/Act NZ combination, that saw its support drop 4 per cent to be even stevens with Labour and the Greens.

“The big loser in October was National led by Christopher Luxon." Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said.

"Support for National fell by 4 per cent points to 32 percent – and this is the lowest level of support for the party since Luxon took over as leader at the end of November a year ago.”

“As we close in on an election year it’s clear the ‘honeymoon’ is over for Luxon. Before now support for National had never dipped below 35 per cent so far this year, but now questions are sure to be raised over whether Luxon is the leader to return National to Government later next year”

Women continue to favour the Labour/ Greens coalition at 50 per cent, over a potential National/ Act NZ coalition at just 41 per cent, those numbers are reversed for men though.

“48 percent support National or Act NZ, compared to only 38.5 per cent supporting Labour or the Greens.” Levine says.

Te Pāti Māori gets support from 2 per cent of men, but 4.5 per cent of wāhine according to the poll.

Levine says the news isn’t all good for the Prime Minister or the Labour Party, which is actually down 0.5 per cent to 29 per cent, the lowest level of support for Labour since the Ardern-led Government took office in October 2017.

The Labour fall is mostly made up from a surge in support for the Greens.

“The Greens, up 3 per cent to 15.5 per cent have record high support as nations from around the world gather in Egypt for UN brokered climate talks known as COP-27.” Levine says.

The research group says climate change is emerging as a hot-button issue for some at the next election.

“It’s yet to be seen whether COP-27 will produce a successful outcome in Egypt but the strength of global warming and climate change as an important issue to New Zealanders is certainly emphasised by support for the Greens hitting a record high.” Levine says.

Things were also looking up for parties keen to make a parliamentary return, or debut.

Support for former deputy Prime Minister Winston Peter’s NZ First was up 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent, just 1.5 per cent off the threshold to enter parliament.

TOP, the political party founded by celebrity economist Gareth Morgan, the father of TradeMe founder Sam Morgan, topped out at 3 per cent, up just 0.5.

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