Sunday, June 12, 2022
Frank Newman: Roy Morgan poll confirms continued slide for LabourLabels: Election Prediction 2023, Frank Newman, Jacinda Ardern's failing government, Roy Morgan Poll
Labour's support is continuing to slide. An historic defeat in 2023 now seems likely for Labour and Jacinda Ardern.
The latest Roy Morgan poll taken last month, has Labour down 2% in May to 31.5%, its lowest level since gaining 50% of the vote in the 2020 general election. It is the eighth month in a row that Labour has lost support.
Assuming this poll result translates to the 2023 election, National and ACT could form the next government with 64 seats, 51 and 13 respectively. A Labour/Greens/Maori Party block would have 54 seats (assuming the Maori Party retains its electorate seat). With only 1.1% of the party vote the Maori Party would lose its second MP.
Labour would have 40 MPs, 25 fewer than it has now and six fewer than it gained in 2017. Assuming party support is reflected in the electorate vote, Labour would retain just 27 of its 46 electorate seats, with all 19 going to National. The electorates lost by Labour include three seats currently held by senior Ministers. The full list is:
Stuart Nash (Napier), Damien O'Connor (West Coast-Tasman), Kiri Allan (East Coast), Vanushi Walters (Upper Harbour), Kieran McAnulty (Wairarapa), Priyanca Radhakrishnan (Maungakeikei), Willow-Jean Prime (Northland), Jo Luxton (Rangitata), Jamie Strange (Hamilton East), Ginny Andersen (Hutt South), Shanan Halbert (Northcote), Steph Lewis (Whanganui), Rachel Boyack (Nelson), Sarah Pallett (Ilam), Gaurav Sharma (Hamilton West), Emily Henderson (Whangarei), Terisa Ngobi (Otaki), Glen Bennett (New Plymouth) and Anna Lorck (Tukituki).
Stuart Nash, Damien O'Connor, Kiri Allan , Vanushi Walters and Kieran McAnulty would retain their place in Parliament via the Party list.
List MPs that would be ousted are: Jan Tinetti (Labour’s candidate in the Tauranga By-election), Marja Lubeck, Angie Warren-Clark, Tāmati Coffey, Naisi Chen, Liz Craig, Ibrahim Omer, Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki, Rachel Brooking, Helen White and Angela Roberts.
Roy Morgan states:
“Today’s Roy Morgan New Zealand Poll shows the lead for a potential National/Act NZ (50%) coalition over the governing Labour/Greens government (43%) increasing to 7% points – the largest lead for National/Act NZ since Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern came to office in October 2017.
“The increase in support for National, up 2% points to 40%, came at the expense of Ardern’s Labour Party, down 2% points to 31.5% - a gap of 8.5% points in favour of National and easily the largest gap in favour of the leading Opposition Party since it lost office in 2017.
“Now just 40% of electors (down 3% points since April) say the country is ‘heading in the right direction’ while 50% of electors (up 0.5% points) say the country is ‘heading in the wrong direction’. This leads to a Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating of 90 – below the neutral level of 100.”
View Roy Morgan Poll HERE
The 2% fall in support for Labour in May confirms its slide in the polls since the 2020 election. In just 18 months Labour’s support is down 18.5% (from 50% to 31.5%), meaning more than 1 in 3 Labour voters in 2020 have switched support to another party. That’s a dramatic statistic that must be causing deep concern within the Labour Party.
National has been the primary beneficiary of Labour’s decline. It has picked up 14.5% of the 18.5%. National gained 5% immediately following it’s change of leadership in late 2021.
It must now be obvious to Labour’s MPs that they are facing a defeat of historic proportions in 2023. While some of the loss can be attributed to National’s reincarnation, there is no escaping the reality that most of Labour’s loss in support can be attributed to Labour itself. The frustration for the twenty-five Labour MPs that will lose their seats is that they are passengers on a sinking ship.
Behind closed doors they must surely realise that their leader is no longer revered as she was in 2020. Jacinda Ardern will not save their jobs and there are now rumblings that the Prime Minister will bow out of domestic politics rather than suffer a humiliating defeat. Manoeuvring by key contenders for her job suggests this is becoming more likely. The future of Jacinda Ardern in domestic politics may hinge on finding an international role ahead of a tilt at the top UN job in 2026 when the term of the current director general comes to an end.
Labour’s backbenchers must also be very aware how unpopular their Party’s policies are. Ironically, the senior party members dictating the unpopular policy agenda that will cost the backbenchers their jobs are likely to be re-elected either as electorate MPs or care of a high list rankings.
Twelve of Labour’s influential 15-member Maori caucus will retain their seats (assuming Labour retains six of the seven Maori electorates). As a result, the Maori caucus within Labour would become even more dominant within a depleted Labour caucus following the 2023 election and lead to a possible confrontation between the Maori and trade union factions within the Party. That dynamic would play into National’s plan to occupy the moderate don't-rock-the-boat centre ground and be the ‘party for all New Zealanders’.
Equally as favourable to National are the ominous clouds overhanging the economy. There is nothing more certain to change one’s voting intentions than pain in the back pocket, and no amount of inconsequential one-off ‘well-being’ payments from Grant Robertson will change that.
National’s do-little approach from Chris Luxon appears to be working for National, but those who believe National will be assertive on the Maori agenda are likely to be disappointed. It is unlikely to poke the Maori hornets’ nest and will instead leave that to ACT – and concede ACT will gain 7% or 8% of the vote.
Frank Newman, is a political commentator, investment analyst, and a former local body councillor.
at 10:35 PM