While there’s been no mass-stampede towards Labour, our overnight-Tuesday survey picks up sufficient voter-reorientation to challenge many long-held assumptions about this election’s trajectory.
For starters, the poll finds that while Labour, in line with other recent polls, is at a woeful 23%, National, too, has suffered a slump, to 39%, a markedly worse result than yet measured for the party.
It’s too soon to say this marks the start of a vote transfer from the Government vote bloc to the Opposition, but neither can we rule it out as a sign of an Ardern-wrought “bump”.
At the least, it appears fears Labour’s panic change would rebound were overblown, as 74% said Ardern’s age did not bother them and 72% believed she’d attract young voters.
While 59% said the leadership change would not make them more likely to vote Labour, 36% said it would. Given Labour needs a 10% lift to make it a Beehive contender, this is a positive sign. As expected, the Ardern effect is more pronounced on women, with 40% saying they were now more likely to vote Labour.
Just 5% said the leadership change was likely to deter them from supporting Labour, and 72% thought Ardern’s leadership would improve Labour’s performance.
Leadership Snap Barometer
Fieldwork conducted from 5pm Tuesday 1st August to 11:30am on Wednesday 2nd August. Sample of n=1,175 New Zealanders intending to vote in the 2017 General Election who are members of Bauer Media’s Online Community Panels. Results have been weighted by gender, age and region to the Reader Universe for Bauer Media’s consumer magazine brands. The margin of error at the 95% Confidence Level is +/- 3.0%
This article was first published in the August 12, 2017 issue of the New Zealand Listener.