A new poll has Labour and National tied for support after Chris Hipkins took over the Labour leadership from Jacinda Ardern.
The Taxpayers’ Union-Curia Poll saw Labour bounce 2.7 points in February to 34.4 per cent - dead even with National, which fell 2.8 points from the last poll, which was taken in January.
Act rose 0.9 points to 11.7, while the Greens tumbled 2.8 points to 7.8 per cent.
NZ First was up 0.1 points to 2.9 per cent while Te Pāti Māori rose 0.5 points to 2.1 per cent.
Other parties sat on 6.7 per cent.
On those numbers, and assuming Te Pāti Māori wins an electorate seat, Labour and National would each get 46 seats.
Act would win 15 seats, the Greens would get 10 and Te Pāti Māori would win three.
This would give National and Act a one-seat majority.
The big news in the poll was not to do with party, but personality.
Hipkins’ net favourability was +27 per cent. 28 points higher than Ardern’s last favourability score.
He is well ahead of Christopher Luxon whose favourability fell four points to -5 per cent from -1 per cent. Act leader David Seymour also fell this month from -4 per cent to -11 per cent - a drop of seven points.
The poll did not split out the breakdown of these numbers, which comprise polling how favoured, unfavoured and unknown the politician is and netting out the result.
Hipkins is also New Zealand’s preferred prime minister with a score of 30 per cent, four points below Ardern’s last performance in that poll.
Luxon increased his score by one point to 26 per cent.
Ardern herself ranked 9 per cent, ahead of David Seymour on 8 per cent and Winston Peters on 3.5 per cent.
The poll was taken between Thursday February 2 and Thursday February 9. The sample size was 1000 eligible New Zealand voters: 800 by phone and 200 by online panel and it has a maximum sampling error of 3.1 per cent at the 95 per cent confidence interval.