A new UMR poll has shown Labour's popularity has taken a hit, dropping from 48 per cent in July to 43 per cent this month – while NZ First has jumped back into the zone of viability on 4.4 per cent.
The New Zealand Insight poll for UMR's corporate clients has Labour on 43 (down five points), and National on 28 per cent – that is up four points since last month.
It is Labour's lowest result in the UMR poll since March 2020, when it was on 42 per cent before the Covid-19 lockdowns hit New Zealand.
UMR also does separate polling for the Labour Party and the results of that poll are not known.
In the Insight poll, the Act Party was up two more points, hitting 13 per cent – its highest level in the UMR poll.
The Green Party was on 7 per cent (down one), and the Maori Party on 1.7 per cent.
NZ First was at 4.4 per cent, after getting 5 per cent in the same poll last month following the re-emergence of Winston Peters at his party's conference.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had dropped by five points to 50 per cent as preferred Prime Minister – also her lowest result since Covid-19.
It was close to her pre-Covid levels of popularity, but she was still miles ahead of National Party leader Judith Collins on 11 per cent.
While National had gained ground from Labour's dip, it was still below 30 per cent, and Act leader David Seymour had extended his lead over Collins as preferred Prime Minister. He was on 14 per cent, up from 12 per cent last month.
The nearest National Party contender to Collins in the poll was Christopher Luxon who had nudged up a bit more to 2.1 per cent.
The Government still scored highly in its handling of the Covid-19 response with 63 per cent agreeing it was doing a good job and only 14 per cent saying it was poor.
However, in its commentary on the poll, UMR noted the numbers who believed New Zealand was on the right track had dropped from historic highs of 78 per cent during the lockdowns last year to 62 per cent, and that was starting to show in the party votes.
Labour and the Greens combined had 51 per cent in this poll, while National and Act were on 41 per cent.
That is a significant change from last month when Labour and the Greens commanded 56 per cent, and National and Act 35 per cent.
At its height of Labour's popularity last year, the left parties were getting around 60 per cent between them.
The poll of 1216 people of voting age was taken from July 21 to August 1 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 per cent.
The results are very similar to a Newshub Reid-Research poll taken at about the same time, which had Labour dropping by almost 10 points to 43 per cent, and Act and National going up to 11.1 per cent and 28.7 per cent respectively.
The UMR polling period started a week after the "howl of a protest" which saw farmers and tradies take to the streets to protest the pace and scope of Government reforms.
The Government had been under increased pressure over the vaccines rollout and measures unrelated to Covid-19 - and has since signalled it will drop the unpopular $785 million cycle bridge.
Ardern has also since moved to speed up the vaccines rollout, and set out the criteria for re-opening the borders.
It was taken before the National Party's annual conference and the splits in the caucus over the conversion therapy bill.