Labour has taken the lead in the Taxpayers’ Union-Curia poll for the first time since March 2022, hitting 35.5 per cent - a rise of 1.1 points on last month’s poll.
But the lead is wafer thin, National is on 34.8 per cent, up 0.4 points. Thanks to Act’s support, National would still be in government on this poll.
The minor parties are being squeezed: Act is on 9.3 per cent, a fall of 2.4 points, while the Greens hover close to the 5 per cent threshold, falling 2.1 points to 5.7 per cent.
If the Greens fell below 5 per cent, they would need Chlöe Swarbrick to retain her seat of Auckland central to stay in Parliament.
Of the smaller parties, NZ First polled 4.2 per cent, New Conservatives 2.5 per cent, Top polled 1.7 per cent, and the Māori Party polled 1.4 per cent.
Translated into seats, Labour is up three seats on last month’s poll to 49, while National is up two seats to 48. Act is down two seats to 13 and the Greens are also down two seats to eight. The Māori Party is down one seat to two.
Christopher Luxon continues to be outgunned in the popularity stakes. His net favourability has increased by 3 points from -5 per cent to -2 per cent.
That compares to Prime Minister Chris Hipkins’ favourability of +33 per cent, up 6 points. Hipkins even has net favourability among National voters
The poll was conducted from Thursday 2 to Tuesday March 7, 2023. It polled a representative sample of 1000 eligbile voters. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 per cent, at the 95 per cent. confidence level.
Hipkins is also well ahead of Luxon as Preferred Prime Minister, sitting at 30 per cent compared to Luxon’s 26.
Hipkins was steady at 30, while Luxon fell 5 points on last month.
Since Hipkins took over as Labour leader and Prime Minister, he has also improved Labour’s performance in several key issues polled.
While National still leads Labour on issues like Law and Order, Inflation and the Economy - Hipkins has managed to close the gap.
These tend to be looked at as leading indicators for the party vote, meaning Labour’s party vote performance may pick up as a result of its improved performance.