National, ACT could govern alone

By Deborah LaHatte

Act, the political party that says a bottom line for it to agree to partner National in a government is a referendum on keeping the Treaty of Waitangi, has seen its popularity drift south this month.

The party dropped three points in this month’s Taxpayers' Union-Curia political poll, down to just over 9%.

The poll shows National and Act could govern alone, with National increasing its support by two points from September to 39%.

National does not support a referendum on the Treaty.

This would mean they would have roughly 49% of public support or 63 seats in a 120-seat parliament.

Surprisingly, given the local body election results and growing opposition to its Three Waters reform, broadcasting merger and co-governance, Labour is up one point to 34% but its potential coalition partner, the Green Party, has fallen three points to 7%.

Adding these numbers would give Labour and the Greens 54 seats in a parliament. If they were joined by the Māori Party, that would rise to 57.

TOP rising

The next most popular party in the political poll is the Opportunities Party (TOP), which has just released its election policies including a new $15,000 tax-free threshold to deliver a $6.35 billion boost to incomes, as well as a $900 million boost to income support for the most vulnerable,  has risen to 3.4%.

 TOP says this policy would be funded by a small annual tax on the value of residential land, raising $6.75 - 7.5b annually, making the policy fiscally neutral.

Te Pāti Māori is at 2.1 %; NZ First, which is holding a revival congress this weekend in Christchurch is on at 2% and the New Conservatives are at 1%.

In the preferred prime minister stakes Labour leader and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has dropped a further 3.5 points to 32.9 per cent, down from a high of 50.8 per cent in September 2021.

National leader Christopher Luxon has also fallen from 25.9 per cent to 22.5 per cent, from a high of 28.6 per cent in April.

Act leader David Seymour is still rising at 7.3% - up 0.7 points and Green MP Chloe Swarbrick is next at 4.8% .

NZ First leader Winston Peters is on 3.6 per cent.

The net country direction, or "right track/wrong track" indicator has dropped to another record low of -28%.

Some 29% think the country is on the right track, a drop of three points, while 56% per cent think it is on the wrong track.