Labour leads, Māori Party the kingmaker in latest poll

Labor has a lead over National in the latest poll.


Labor has a lead over National in the latest poll.

A new poll shows the Labor Party may be ahead of National, but the Māori Party could be the deciding factor in October’s election.

A survey by Horizon Research provided exclusively for Thingsshows that in the five days after new Labor leader Chris Hipkins became prime minister, his party had the support of 30.8% of more than 1,100 polled.

National received 25.4% support. No party could form a government on these numbers, including with their traditional coalition partners the Greens with 7.70% and the ACT party with 11.4%.

Instead, according to this poll, the Māori Party, with 2.89% and four seats in Parliament, could decide which party forms the government provided it retains a seat with the electorate.

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Recent comparable polls by 1News/Kantar and Newshub/Reid Research similarly placed Labor ahead of National, albeit by a different margin. Both had Labor at 38% and National at 37% and 36.6% respectively.

Horizon polled 1,147 people in this latest poll who said they would vote. It was recorded between 23 and 28 January, after Hipkins became Labor leader and Prime Minister and before the Auckland floods and Hipkins’ policy realignment.

The results were weighted to reflect the demographics of the voting public and had a 95% confidence level and a 2.9% margin of error.


While National hasn’t seen much of a drop in support, Labor has made big gains.

The small parties received more support in the Horizon poll than in the broadcast polls.

If an election produced these polling results, Labor would have 47 seats in Parliament, National 39, ACT 18 and the Greens 12.

Such a result would give a Labor-Green coalition 59 seats, less than the 61 required for a government. A National-ACT coalition would have 57, which would also fall short.

Four Māori Party seats, if retaining the Waiariki electorate, could make the difference for either potential coalition and make the party the ‘kingmaker’.

NZ First, which has held a kingmaker position in the past, received 4% support in the poll. Without a seat among the electorate, the party would not clear the 5 percent threshold required to enter parliament.

About 8% of respondents did not support any of the parties listed, but supported smaller parties that never entered parliament.

A previous poll by Horizon, conducted in the three days before Hipkins was confirmed as Labor’s sole candidate for the Labor leadership, found the main concern for respondents was the cost of living.


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