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Chippy might be feeling more chipper this morning (Photo: Toby Manhire))
Chippy might be feeling more chipper this morning (Photo: Toby Manhire))

The BulletinOctober 11, 2023

Poll gives Labour a bump as pre-nuptial machinations continue on the right

Chippy might be feeling more chipper this morning (Photo: Toby Manhire))
Chippy might be feeling more chipper this morning (Photo: Toby Manhire))

A new Guardian poll delivers a lift for Labour and, for the first time, a reversal in the right block’s hierarchy of power as Act’s support falls, writes Anna Rawhiti-Connell in this excerpt from The Bulletin, The Spinoff’s morning news round-up. To receive The Bulletin in full each weekday, sign up here.

Poll bump for Labour

This morning’s Guardian Essential poll brings some good news for Labour in that it’s up from 26.9% in September to 30.3%. The Green party are on 10.6%, down slightly from 11% and Te Pāti Māori is on 1.9%, down from 2.5%. That would see a Labour/Greens/TPM coalition holding 55 seats (up two from September) and the right 54 (down five). “While most analysts and all major polls have suggested voters will abandon the Labour-led government in Saturday’s vote – consistent with a depleted national mood fuelled by high inflation and a cost-of-living crisis – National has not capitalised on the dissatisfaction,” writes Charlotte Graham-McLay.

National still considered most capable of managing key issues

Labour has also gained some ground in the Ipsos Issues Monitor survey released yesterday. National are still well ahead when it comes to which party is most capable of dealing with the top five concerns of New Zealanders but Labour has gained six points from where it was in May on the number one issue of cost of living. The government’s performance rating slightly increased from August 2023’s record-low mean score of 4.5 to 4.7. Concerns about fuel prices have shot up since May.

First poll to show NZ First ahead of Act

My husband helpfully offered a headline suggestion for last week’s Bulletin about Sir John Key’s guest appearance in this year’s campaign nine hours after I’d sent it. Naturally, it was a riff on Key’s three-way handshake at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Despite the Guardian poll bump for Labour, a three-way handshake between National, Act and NZ First still looks like the most likely path to forming a government after the election. This morning’s poll is also the first to show what Toby Manhire called Act’s “nightmare scenario”, with NZ First on 8.2%, up from 6% on September’s poll while Act has fallen from 10.3% to 7.9%. National is down 0.5% on 34%. We’ll wait and see what tonight’s 1News Verian poll tonight brings.

Act and NZ First play slightly nicer

As Andrea Vance writes for The Post, there was still “theatre and a few sparks” between David Seymour and Winston Peters at last night’s Press debate in Christchurch,  but “both reined in their previous enmity”. Seymour likened an arrangement with National to a marriage, and it seems that working with NZ First would be one of the compromises.  The Herald’s Derek Cheng (paywalled) and’s Dan Brunskill have examined the alignment between National, Act and NZ First. Cheng writes that “if you remove all the noise, Christopher Luxon, Seymour and Peters would be more likely than not to find enough common ground to cobble together a government”, while Brunskill highlights the likely sticking points. There’s an interesting snippet from Luxon’s “job interview” on the Herald this morning, with Luxon dodging a question about whether he knew that campaign chair Chris Bishop was going to publicly float the prospect of a second election if talks with NZ First fell over. With Seymour and Peters keen to downplay the notion of a second election at last night’s debate, it does seem as if they have moved into an acceptance phase, albeit with one happier about the prospect than the other. National may need to cycle past denial and meet them there.

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