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Luxon under pressure after latest Newshub Poll

Written By: - Date published: 10:08 pm, February 7th, 2022 - 93 comments
Categories: act, Christopher Luxon, david seymour, greens, jacinda ardern, labour, national, polls - Tags:

I am going to channel my Matthew Hooton left wing alter ego in the writing of this post.

The latest Newshub Poll result will cause further pressure on embattled National Party leader Chris Luxon.

Although National support increased 4.4% to 31.3%, support for its only possible ally Act plummeted 8% points to 8%.

Compared to the recent Roy Morgan Poll the right’s share of the vote has plummeted 10.7% points to 39.3% and is now well behind the Labour-Green total of 53.9%.

Meanwhile Jacinda Ardern’s handling of the toughest job in politics especially during a pandemic has seen her support increase to 43.3%.

National’s leak machine has started again with some MPs expressing concern for the party’s future and especially for the chances of them winning their own seats.  Meanwhile there are reports of at least three Act MPs sounding out others on the possibility of a leadership coup against embattled leader David Seymour.

The next few weeks are going to be tough for the leaders of the country’s two right wing parties as the majority of the electorate clearly accept that a kinder style of leadership that respects scientific advice is the best for the country.

93 comments on “Luxon under pressure after latest Newshub Poll ”

  1. observer 1

    The most valid comparison is with polls from the same pollster. On that basis, this is even worse for the Right (National + ACT) than the last Newshub poll when Collins was leader.

    Go back further, and – remarkably – it is the same result as the Newshub poll before that (late July 2021): the Right polled 39.8% then, 39.3% now. No change.


    Collins was awful, unelectable. Luxon seems better, more affable, more media-friendly, less antagonistic. But in the end all that matters is votes – and he's not adding any.

    • lprent 1.1

      Look be fair – give Luxon some time.

      After all National are currently successfully doing the dismemberment of the Act support. Isn't that worth supporting?


  2. McFlock 2

    Meanwhile there are reports of at least three Act MPs sounding out others on the possibility of a leadership coup against embattled leader David Seymour.

    All he has to do is wait for the leadership chaos to drive ACT back under 2%, then he'll be on caucus leader $$$ again lol

    • Blade 2.1

      Good poll for the Left..bad poll for the Right?

      But is it? It's February. The remnants of a holiday break and good news about the border opening up is still fresh and uplifting.

      But as the year grinds on.. things won't be so good. Should a similar poll be posted in August, then the Right have a big problem.

      And let’s not forget Robbo. I’m sure he will have a bag of trinkets for the punters should things get dicey.

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        Dunno about polling for the left and right at this stage. I just thought it was funny that some first-termers could be considering a leadership challenge.

        Especially as most of ACT's media strategy seems to be to keep 9 mps as far away from media as possible. I haven't seen them make policy announcements or in the news. Do you hear them much on talkback radio? You are probably more their demographic.

    • Blazer 2.2

      a leadership coup against Seymour!…who Judith Collins?

      No one has heard of any other ACT politician besides Seymour.

      • McFlock 2.2.1

        I know, right?


        • Nic the NZer

          Doesn't seem implausible. Do you think ACT updated their constitution after the John Banks external leadership coup?

          But if your going to get electorate votes in Epsom then your probably going to be too socialist for Blade.

          • McFlock

            Thing is, it then gives their most visible MP to date an incentive to tank the party.

            Not as bad as Anderton vs Alliance, but still… his electorate is their backstop if their vote tanks – which most parties do when their leadership is in disarray.

      • Phil 2.2.2

        No one has heard of any other ACT politician besides Seymour.

        No one had heard of Seymour before he got the job and, on purely numerical terms, he has been ACTs most successful leader.


  3. Chris T 3

    This will probably sound odd, but given the current Covid situation I actually think the Nats are higher than I thought they should be.

    Lets face it. Currently Ardern is basically living in free publicity central.

    In fact 31.3% plus 8% is probably high enough that she will probably be advised to start up her 1pm Covid announcement live ads again.

    (Yes I know I am a cynic)

  4. Patricia Bremner 4

    Did this period take in Act's State of the Nation speech? perhaps the word has gone out that Act are on their own?

  5. Logie97 5

    Until recently the media used to consult with the Westpac pundit for comments on the state of the economy and his predictions. Recently it has been the ANZ who have been commenting and spreading negativity and gloom. Now doesn’t a knight of the realm and former PM have a high position in the ANZ. He probably thinks he can still influence public opinion from there.

  6. I like your inner Matthew Hooton, Micky. Doing what the right does so often – predicting dire and big changes on the flimsyist (or none at all) of evidence.

    You know what I mean – Jacinda is angling for a post at the UN, she'll retire and hand over to Grant, that sort of thing.

    But I sincerely hope that any predictions of implosions within Natz or Act come true.

    We face an existential crisis and although I've been horribly disappointed by Labour's response so far, they are geological ages ahead of the right, many of whom deny there is even a problem.

  7. Riff.s 7

    There seems to be a wall of labour support around 40%. Gains will be hard for the right but the trend is still looking like it'll be close.

    That said, it is shaping up as a unique choice for the electorate between lab-green and nat-act. With both sides called before the election, no balance of power centre party, and the smaller coalition parties having significant support.

    I don"t think there has been an election like it in NZ.

  8. higherstandard 8

    "I don"t think there has been an election like it in NZ."

    On the contrary, a choice between two bunches of incompetents is pretty much like every election in nz.

    • Patricia Bremner 8.1

      higherstandard. So no Government elected or not meet with your approval? Sad for you.

  9. Sanctuary 9

    My biggest take from this poll is (As MS's bit of satire above indicates) the gap between the MIQ obsessed received wisdom of our wrong headed pundit class and the general public has grown to an unbridgable chasm.

    Even this morning the gallery journalists and preseenters are grimly clinging to the narrative they've persuaded themselves of, viz: MIQ is deeply unpopular, the government's support is in decline as a result, National is closing the gap, Luxon is Key 2.0, soon order will restored as people tire of Jacinda and flow back to the natural party of business.

    • observer 9.1

      "Scandal after scandal", said Ryan Bridge this morning.

      It's Pundit's Law: scandals expand to fill the news space available. "Scandal after scandal" is something we've seen often enough in the past, with governments both Lab and Nat. Ministers resign, leaks flow from Cabinet, bitter rows hit the front pages. Yeah, proper politics.

      But none of that is happening (this is the most disappointingly disciplined government I can remember, not even an expenses embarrassment, a naughty freebie, and they always have those).

      Still, the "Scandal Quota" must be filled, so the media must make their own fun. Something about Gayford at the chemist's, or whatever that was.

      Meanwhile … Boris Johnson's own Tory MPs are literally writing open letters demanding he resign. Now that's how we should do "Scandal".

      • mary_a 9.1.1

        But, but observer (9.1) have you forgotten already that the Taliban has been quoted as being far kinder than wicked Jacinda and this evil government? A black mark surely, much worse than a scandal .. /sarc

  10. Ad 10

    Mickey yesterday you did a long post about how the mainstream media were all ganging up against Labour.

    As Sanctuary points out, they just don't have their imagined power any more.

    • Sanctuary 10.1

      Which will unfortunately most likely simply drive them into a paroxysm of impotent rage rather than a period of genuflection on the age, class and general composition of their pundits. I mean, I remember Ralston, Clifton, and Soper from when I was young for God's sake. I would venture to suggest that a bunch of boomers recylcing their boozey dinner party hot takes from the comfort of their mortgage free million dollar homes in swish suburbs do not quite have their finger on the pulse of the nation as much as they think they do. Hooton should never be published in reputable news outlet ever again. A parade of the opinions of a bunch of angry and menopausal 50 something wealthy Auckland businessmen does not the public opinion make. And the press gallery has been exposed by COVID and it's attempt to control the narrative – "to make the sausage" -has seen its members discredited on both the left and the right.

      Unfortunately, nature abhors a vacuum and into the void has rushed social media, in particular Facebook, which has monitised hate and misinformation to such an extent the company's presence is now a national security problem for multiple countries.

      • Ad 10.1.1

        Anyone remember Charlotte Bellis and the orchestrated power of the media to roll governments? What a neat campaign!

        So good to see her continuing solidarity with the women of Afghanistan now that she's gotten herself out.

        'Angry and/or menopausal' media darlings walking over the bodies of the oppressed.

      • Obtrectator 10.1.2

        Takes a bit more than a million these days to secure a house in a swish suburb.

  11. Jimmy 11

    "Meanwhile there are reports of at least three Act MPs sounding out others on the possibility of a leadership coup against embattled leader David Seymour."

    I find that very hard to believe. Seems like the writer just wanting to try and cause mischief.

    No one even knows who any of the others are, and if one of them took over they would be so unknown Act would slip further and as McFlock says at 2 above, Seymour would probably end up as the only MP as he is gifted Epsom seat.

    • observer 11.1

      "Seems like the writer just wanting to try and cause mischief. "

      He was satirising similar comments by Hooton. Not meant to be taken seriously – like Hooton.

      • Bearded Git 11.1.1

        Hooton and Trotter seem to have something in common…..they can write a series of rational/logical statements/articles….then suddenly they go off the rails and write utter tripe.

    • mpledger 11.2

      The funders behind Act keep who they want in power. The funders may want three unknowns rather than Seymour = they made Seymour, they can make someone else.

  12. Robert Guyton 12

    This is devastating for National, catastrophic for ACT: what a shambles!!

    • Ad 12.1

      Seymour should sit at the feet of Shaw and takes notes. 🙂

      • Robert Guyton 12.1.1

        It would be intensely annoying having that little twerker underfoot.

      • Bearded Git 12.1.2

        Agreed ad…..in all the spiel above nobody seems to recognise how well the Greens are polling….nearly 10%.

        • lprent

          I was commenting on how remarkable that was last week. First time I have seen a party generally supporting the government beat the curse.

          • Bearded Git

            One wonders how the "give back more land to Maori by revisiting the settlements" will go.

            Personally I support it but it will raise some hackles.

  13. Robert Guyton 13

    "Luxon prepares to throw in towel"

  14. I think individual polls are like weather forecasts. We tend to prefer the ones that say what we want to hear.

    In contrast, recently there was the Roy Morgan poll (which I seem to remember used to be quite popular here awhile back) which paints quite a different story:


    And the TVNZ poll which is somewhere between the other two:


    But, hey, if the latest poll makes the left complacent, all good by me.smiley

    Probably averaging all three would give a more accurate perspective I suspect.

  15. Adrian 15

    The only weapon that Luxon thought he had was RATS, now in Aussie they might be getting the arse. Their unreliability has compromised one resthome already with over 20 residents contacting Covid from a carer who tested negative, and the list of complaints is growing. It’s is now claimed that RATS don’t pick up Covid for 4-5 days, which is next to useless when Omicron was reported recently as being infectious in a carrier within the first 24 hours. You go Chris baby, you can pick’em.
    The 4-5 days may explain why so many deplaneing at Mangere are as toxic as a septic tank.

    • Bearded Git 15.1

      RATS have always had a reliability problem…Jacinda realises they are as much use as a chocolate teapot….but Luxon will go on and on and on and on about them.

      • aj 15.1.1

        Studies made clear the problems with RAT's from very early on, seemed to me that was why the govt/MoH were reluctant to place bets on them. It made me wonder why Bishop et al put the house on them.

        Of course they have been chasing the smoke around the campfire right from the start of the pandemic

        • McFlock

          It made me wonder why Bishop et al put the house on them.

          If I thought he or his advisors were particularly competent and evil, I'd suggest that maybe they knew RATs would always be used when the disease broke out into numbers too large and management of the problem moved into a new phase. [edit: point being that they’d be able to say “they’re doing what we said all along” when the government reaches a well-formulated milestone in the plan]

          But as it is, there's a possibility they're genuinely thick and were just moaning for the sake of undermining the government's public health responses during a global pandemic.

          • Chris T

            Or the govt could just be a bit shit when it comes to RATs.

            Still confuses me why they were so against them so much and then nicked them all.

            • McFlock

              I mean, it could be that at different stages of an outbreak the testing requirements move towards sacrificing some testing specificity in order to significantly increase the number of people who can be tested.

              Or, like, govt bad, yadda yadda, our ability to keep numbers so low was due only to luck. Always a [thin] possibility, I guess.

      • lprent 15.1.2

        RATS have always had a reliability problem…

        They were bad enough before delta for reliabilty. Now they appear to be only really good as generators of false negatives – even when taken in series.

        Wouldn’t trust them at all myself because they catch the infections too late. Good enough to identify a possible infection hotspot after it has already infected everyone there with omicron

    • georgecom 15.2

      National has had no real policy on covid19 since march 2020. they have had a lot of changing their minds, conflicting statements, platitudes and pointing of the obvious, but no real policy. what their position has amounted to is pretty much:

      open/close/open/close/open the border

      lock down/unlock down/lock down/ unlock down

      the vaccine roll out was slow, but don't ask them for an alternative

      use rapid antigen tests throughout the population

      that's it. bishop is not as big a numpty as say was woodhouse, but he has really struggled to articulate an alternative. I am not sure Luxon understands the full details, never mind the finer details of the covid situation. Maybe if they had not been on holiday over december/january they might have been able to pull together a coherent position, but clearly the bach and the beach was more important.

  16. I like the way that @mrJeffHowell put it…

  17. Corey Humm 17

    When does this govt accept advice? It stopped listening to health advice when it became politically advantageous to do so, it didn't listen to Treasury or salvation army when they said housing NZs budget needed to be increased , it didn't listen to world economists and local economists about a capital gains tax, it didn't listen to experts recommendations on welfare. Climate.

    As for that CGT it's desperately needed, real leadership means being able to change your mind when the the facts change and if she said "when I ruled out a CGT it was a different world, noone could have predicted the impacts of COVID, we were elected to rebuild post covid and it'd be irresponsible for me to not act on housing, so from xxxx we will be instituting a capital gains tax on non family homes"

    The majority of the public would support her like they have on covid and say "well something had to be done we're all struggling here everyone has to tighten their belt" and it would make people hopeful about her again, but she won't… Her and her party are stuck in a 90s idea of centerism. Knowing this lot I expect them to get even more conservative and do even less,

    they are so out of touch with a public who wants a fairer more affordable new Zealand it's just getting sad now.

  18. Adrian 18

    Didn’t listen to ONE local economist Corey but did listen to the majority , by a fine margin admittedly, of NZ voters who didn’t want. You can’t get anything done from opposition like all the new state houses built and to be fair bloody Covid has gotten in the way of a few things.

  19. Patricia Bremner 19

    Corey, what would you like apart from CGT? The tax on sales is working to slow house price rises. Corey, all over the world investors are buying up property. They fear a financial crash. This means property prices are trending up. Banks everywhere are shoring up their defences and charging more for money.

    No government has tried to control speculation in houses before. They are building as fast as they can and supporting housing with infrastructure money apprenticeships and money for freight and supply lines. This is not enough in the face of need, so building public homes to rent would be a good move. Rentals for these could be fixed or susidised.

    I hear the owner of Whitcoulls is going on a property buying spree an example of straight greed and "using" housing in covid times to protect wealth in the face of need. How do Governments counter this without huge unintended consequences?

    I send ideas through. Some have been actioned, others I know are on the back burner.

    Are you impacted by work hours/type, rent costs or rising interest rates, world energy prices, food prices or all of these?

    This happened to a family member who was threatened by a collection firm. We all rallied round cleared his card, convinced him to get budgeting help and make a list of possible earning actions. He got an extra one day a week mowing job, which he used to pay down his car loan. Life is better. I know that may not transfer, but talking to the budget help he discovered avenues of assistance he did not know were available before.

    Keep coming here and elsewhere to talk your real life experiences not forgetting your local MP. Cheers Corey, make them listen mate, some will lose their seats next time so they will listen.

    No country has an answer, oil money has given some false riches which will fade. We all face covid and climate change.

    An agrarian revolution, followed by the industrial revolution, then the space age, the tech age we are in which is turning to the sustainable age hopefully. They all cause gains and losses not all recognised as trends immediately.

    Governments may be overtaken by events, but planning and careful choices mean ours is admired world wide for steadfast policies based on wellbeing.

    Those who labour for others are the most impacted by any change. Those with capital can have it earn for them.

    A pandemic is going to have fallout. Social engineering is so unfashionable now, that rather than go there in any form many Governments have gone for the "Let it rip". That is no answer either as Australia and the UK and USA are discovering.

    Weka had a great post on Long Covid. It appears this is becoming prevalent and problematic. USA just reported to WHO. Our Government is straining to limit impacts by following a summation of Health advice. Not all of it accurate or helpful.

    Your pain is real and we recognise it. Don’t invite the wolf in again because he is dressed up as Grandma.

  20. weka 20


    • tsmithfield 20.1

      As I pointed out above, the Roy Morgan was the most accurate for the 2020 election result. So, don't write it off. It might well be the only right poll out of the lot.

  21. swordfish 22

    Roy Morgan Poll (January):

    Nats lead Lab / Right leads Left.

    Women favour Left / Men favour Right:

    • Chris T 22.1

      "Women favour Left / Men favour Right:"

      This has always been interesting to me.

      Think it is more a women favour Ardern more than dudes thing at the mo' tbh

      All the touchy feely "team of 5 million". "Be kind" PR crap seems to work better on females. But that might be construed as sexist.

      Edit: Probably might sound like a cop out, but work with females who also think it is bollocks from plasticky media people.

      • swordfish 22.1.1

        It's true to say that the gender gap in Party Support (certainly in terms of breakdowns from Opinion Polling .. but also, from memory, in terms of the New Zealand Election Study) has been greatest during the Clark & Ardern Administrations. Generally younger women are particularly taken with Labour Govt's under women PMs.

        [although, of course, this latest Roy Morgan (quite unusually) suggests older women are currently the core Labourites]

    • pat 22.2

      Thanks..tell me, is the gender split historical? I have the sense that it is a relatively recent phenomenon.

      • swordfish 22.2.1


        Up until the early 80s, the gender split was in the opposite direction … early polling in the 60s tended to break down gender by marital status rather than age … single women were core National voters, single men core Labour voters … with married women & men being milder [somewhat more evenly-divided] versions of the singles.

        We’re talking in broad terms here, of course … plenty of single women voted Labour / plenty of men supported the Nats … but generally speaking we know there was that gender split during the 60s & 70s from polling.

        Sophisticated regression analysis in a PhD a couple of decades ago (along with mid 20C folk wisdom: caught in James K Baxter's Poem National Mum Labour Dad) suggests this was broadly the case for much of the early-mid 20C in NZ. Newspapers were very effective in convincing women (in particular) that Labour were a bunch of wild-eyed working-class wreckers & revolutionaries.

        From the early 80s, the split reversed … partly a corollary of generational change, partly a visceral reaction to Muldoon, women as a whole slowly began to move Left, with men increasingly more likely than women to vote National.

        That trend greatly intensified during the Clark Govt … then significantly declined during most of the Key years … reappeared towards the end of Key's reign … greatly intensifying again under Ardern.

        • pat

          Thanks….thats a surprising historical split that I wouldnt have picked…had thought the support would have been roughly balanced…just goes to show.

    • Patricia Bremner 22.3

      Maori Party on the right?

  22. Poission 23

    Kitchen cabinet response to bad PR over MIQ is against public opinion,and a poor political decision.

    The poll results show 57.8 percent of Kiwis support keeping the international border closed longer to keep Omicron out while just over a third – 36.3 percent – wouldn't tolerate being cut off from the world any longer.


  23. georgecom 24

    Luxon cannot be happy with that. only 32% and ACTs vote collapsing. essentially the nats have clawed back what they lost to ACT. At a time the govt has been under delta and omicron pressure and the emergence of the great white hope national would have wanted to be mid 30s at the minimum and more likely high 30s. they are back to about where Bridges left them when he was rolled.

  24. Roy Morgan poll just out shows a completely different story to the Newshub poll.


    In this poll the right block is now on 51 compared to the left block on 43. So, the Roy Morgan shows the right block clearly winning now.

    Potentially some push-polling going on in the Newshub poll. I have seen several comments from people claiming to have been called to respond for that poll. They said they were asked about whether the abortion views of Luxon would change their voting intention.

    I understand these questions were asked after the questions about party and leader support, so in theory shouldn't have affected the result.

    But a lot of right leaning respondents may well have told the pollsters to F off after that sort of question. So, if there were a number of incomplete responses due to that, and if the incomplete responses were not included, then excluded could well have biased the result.

    It just seems a bit weird that this poll was so far out of step with other recent ones.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 25.1

      Different methodology

      2020 election result their last poll understated labour and overstated national

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  • Better natural hazard information for home buyers
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  • New Zealand welcomes visiting WTO Director General
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  • Faster, cheaper, better resource management law given first reading
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    4 days ago
  • Minister Sio to meet new Vanuatu PM
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  • Driving ahead with the Clean Car Standard
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  • Speech to Constitutional Kōrero conference
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  • Rental sector changes to regulate residential property managers, clear up meth confusion and ease pr...
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    4 days ago
  • Further sanctions on the political and economic elites of Russia and Belarus
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    5 days ago
  • Another step towards improved supermarket competition
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  • Black Ferns to be celebrated at Parliament
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  • Autism Guideline released by Ministry
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  • Speech to Aotearoa Refugee Hui
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  • Global climate talks underline need for domestic action
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    6 days ago
  • Defence Minister visits Ukraine and Poland
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  • Stuart Nash to attend OECD meetings
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  • Human Rights Act enhanced to protect religious communities
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    7 days ago
  • Defence Minister meets with UK counterpart and visits NZDF personnel
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  • The Pacific business village comes to Auckland
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  • Speech to the Asia New Zealand Foundation
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  • Major investment in Māori Health
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