National would easily be able to govern alone without the need of any support parties if Chinese voters in New Zealand had their way, a new poll has found.
The WTV-Trace Research Chinese Poll found 71.1 per cent of ethnic Chinese will vote for National if the election was held tomorrow, a 2.4 percentage point drop from its previous poll.
This is at odds with some other mainstream polls which are putting Labour ahead of National.
Labour was up 5.8 to 21.6 per cent, while both NZ First and Act were down to 2.4 and 2.0 per cent respectively.
The poll is backed by local Asian media company World TV, and conducted by Trace Research Ltd, an independent market research consultancy.
The results are based on responses from 1300 Chinese New Zealanders who were eligible to vote in the September 23 election.
"The strongest supporter base for National are those who are aged between 30-39 years, and this is the weakest supporter base for Labour," said researcher Andrew Zhu.
Zhu said Labour's strongest support came from younger voters (18-29 years), older (60 years-plus), and middle aged (40-49 years) groups.
Bill English is the favourite to lead the country, with the support of nearly six in 10 respondents compared with Jacinda Ardern on 20.1 per cent.
The latest One News Colmar Brunton poll which puts Arden up to 35 and English down to 31.
"In April, more than a third of those polled are not sure who to vote for this position, now this has reduced to 14.8 per cent," Zhu said.
"Andrew Little only had 8.6 points supporters and Jacinda has gained 20.1 per cent, but there is still a significant gap between her and Bill English."
Among the most populated regions for Chinese, Auckland shows the highest level of support for National on 71.8 per cent, but it has also suffered 4.3 per cent drop since April.
Labour has received the highest gain in the Canterbury region, up 21.8 per cent since April.
A majority of respondents, or 76.8 per cent, also felt National Party's immigration policy would be more effective in bringing quality new immigrants to New Zealand, as compared with 23.2 per cent for Labour.
Law and order, health care and education were the issues that mattered most to Chinese voters according to the poll.
National List MP Jian Yang is believed to be the Chinese MP who would be the one to most effectively serve the Chinese community in the next three years on 44.8 per cent, followed by Labour's Raymond Huo on 18.8 per cent.
Maori Party's candidate for Botany Wetex Kang was on 3.5 per cent, but the poll was conducted before news reports on an Electoral Commission investigation into his campaign.
Huo has written to the University of Auckland questioning the vadility of the poll, saying it "may not be robust enough to prevent it from some systemic abuse".
"It appears to be nothing more than an online opinion survey 'based primarily on the Chinese social media WeChat' which is said to have more than 700 million subscribers worldwide," he said in a letter to Professor Jenny Dixon, the university's deputy vice-chancellor
Huo said the poll had been taken seriously because of Herald reports and its association with the University of Auckland, where Dr Zhu, is an honorary research fellow.
The online survey was distributed via Trace Research's Chinese panel via email, and WTV's audience groups on WeChat. It was also made available on the two company's websites, and WTV's WeChat account.
A university spokeswoman said the poll was carried out by an independent market research company and the university's involvement was limited to a member of staff who helped proofread the Chinese-to-English translation of the results.
Zhu said Huo could "rest assured" that there were mechanisms in place to exclude those who are not based in New Zealand.
Zhu said it was common for elections to "bring out partisanship".