National and Act have a clear majority in tonight’s 1 News-Kantar poll and could govern alone.
National is on 38 per cent, up 1 point, Labour is on 33 per cent, down 1 point. Act is on 11 per cent, up 2 points.
The Green Party was steady on 9 per cent.
National would have 49 seats on that poll, with Act having 15 seats.
Labour would have 42 seats, with the Greens adding 7 and Te Pati Māori would have 3 seats.
Jacinda Ardern’s preferred prime minister ranking is on 29 per cent, with Christopher Luxon on 23, closing the gap with Ardern.
Luxon told TVNZ the result showed people wanted a “Government that gets things done”.
It is the closest Luxon has ever been to Ardern in the preferred prime minister ranking.
It was the lowest preferred prime minister ranking for Ardern since she became Labour leader.
According to the poll, New Zealanders felt pessimistic about the economy in the face of the cost of living crisis.
Asked whether New Zealand will be in a worse economic state in the next year, 61 per cent of respondents said the economy world be worse, just 18 per cent said better and 21 per cent said it would be the same.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern managed expectations about her party’s performance ahead of the poll.
The right and left-wing blocs have been neck and neck in most recent polls, but Ardern suggested this poll might be tough for Labour thanks to a bruising few weeks.
Speaking this afternoon, Ardern said “there is no question that right now we are as a country going through some very particular issues that rightly and understandably are of interest to voters”.
“The economic headwinds that we are feeling as a trading nation that is affected by our international environment and of course we have had a spate of criminal offending that has impacted on people’s lives.
“Our job is to manage those events when New Zealanders experience them - that is why we released the largest crime prevention package that I have seen in memory alongside our investment in police.
“It is why for instance we are focused on keeping debt down, reducing government spending, and supporting our exporters,” Ardern said.
The Government has been challenged in recent weeks with bad economic news and an apparent crime wave.
National leader Christopher Luxon described the move as “absolute chaos”.
Making matters worse, the Government has had to admit it made a mistake when it took the unusual decision to entrench part of its Three Waters legislation.
The most recent 1 News-Kantar poll was taken in September. It had National in the lead on 37 per cent with Labour trailing on 34 per cent. The Greens and Act both polled 9 per cent with Te Pati Maori polling 1.6 per cent .
NZ First led the non-Parliamentary parties polling 3 per cent, followed by TOP on 1.3 per cent, and the New Conservatives on per cent.
The most recent public poll was the Taxpayers’ Union-Curia poll, taken in early November.
It had National on 35 per cent, Labour on 34 per cent, Act on 10 per cent, the Greens on 7.8 per cent and Te Pati Maori on 1.6 per cent.
NZ First polled 3.8 per cent, TOP was on 2.1 per cent, and the New Conservatives were on 0.9 per cent.
The poll comes as Labour faces a challenge to win the seat of Hamilton West, which it won in the 2020 election, but lost following the decision to eject rogue MP Gaurav Sharma from caucus.
Labour’s Georgie Dansey is going up against National’s Tama Potaka to win the seat.
It is believed to be a close contest between Labour and National, who face the difficulty of Act candidate James McDowall splintering some of Potaka’s support.
Polling day is Saturday.