Labour surges, Greens and NZ First suffer in new polls

UPDATE / 9.30pm: A leaked UMR poll,* conducted Aug 1 - Aug 8, reinforces the Newshub-Reid Research survey released earlier this evening. Its headline results:

  • National: 43% (+1)
  • Labour 36% (+13%)
  • NZ First: 8% (-8)
  • Greens: 8% (-7)

EARLIER / 6.30pm: Labour has rebounded strongly, following its decision to change its leader, according to the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll.

The party recorded a 9 point increase to 33.1% from the previous same poll result, drawing support from the Greens (down 4.7 points to 8.3%) and — perhaps more surprisingly — NZ First (down 3.8 points  to 9.2%)

National is on 44.4%, down 0.8 points.

In the preferred Prime Minister stakes, Ms Ardern is on 26.3%, neck-and-neck with Bill English on 27.7%.

That represents a 17.6 point increase for the new Labour leader, an incredible result considering her predecessor Andrew Little rated only 6.7% at the end of July.

Pollster and political commentator David Farrar notes that the Aug 2-8 poll was mostly conducted before the resignation of Green MPs Kennedy Graham and David Clendon.

"I'd suggest the Greens are even lower now," he says.

Green support will also be under pressure from allegations aired by Radio NZ today that Ms Turei received "substantial support" from her daughter's grandparents during her period of self-confessed benefit fraud.

Ms Turei resigned as co-leader this evening.

One thing hasn't changed after a week of upheaval: NZ First is still positioned as kingmaker.

NBR political editor Rob Hosking notes that Winston Peters' party has slipped, however, which he puts down to Ms Ardern's celebrity appeal.

And he also has a warning for Labour supporters not to get too carried away, noting that Labour support was at 34% just before the party dumped David Shearer as leader.

He adds that while one poll does not make a trend, the rumour mill holds that National's tracking poll (conducted by Mr Farrar's company, Curia) has also shown the Greens taking a hit.

The Newshub-Reid Research poll was conducted from August 2 to August 8, with a margin of error of 3.1%. 750 people are surveyed using landlines, and 250 on an internet panel. Ardern was named Labour's new leader on Aug 1. Turei announced on Aug 4 that she would not seek a ministerial role if part of a post-Sept 23 govt.

* UMR is contracted by Labour to conduct a tracking poll, which piggybacks on its fortnightly omnibus survey. UMR confirmed on social media that it had briefed corporate clients on its latest survey results today.

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