Luxon’s days are numbered

Written By: - Date published: 8:08 pm, May 14th, 2023 - 70 comments
Categories: Christopher Luxon, election 2023, labour, national, political parties, polls - Tags:

The latest TV3 Newshub poll results are out.

The major parties are neck and neck.  No surprise there.

But what is stark is the public response to Christopher Luxon.

Basically he is tanking.  And National must be really afraid that he is going to prevent them from occupying what they believe is their rightful place as leaders of the country.

From Newshub:

The preferred Prime Minister rankings show the public is continuing to warm to Labour’s Chris Hipkins. He’s on 23.4 percent, up 3.8 points.

“Voters can make their judgements based on the personality traits or the characteristics of each individual leader. I am just going to be myself,” Hipkins said.

But his challenger, National’s Christopher Luxon, has dropped to 16.4 percent, down 2.4 points.

That’s not only his lowest score yet on our poll, but it’s lower than what former leader Judith Collins scored on our last preferred Prime Minister rankings ahead of the 2020 election.

“I am working really hard. I have got a lot more work to do over the next five months,” Luxon said.

“I am very focused on the poll that really matters, which is October 14, and making my case and explaining to the New Zealand people as to what I think needs to happen and that is a Government which will get things done.”

He may be focused on October 14.  I suspect his caucus are focused on the next poll.

70 comments on “Luxon’s days are numbered ”

  1. Ad 1

    It is really impressive that Labour has taken so little hit from all the political damage it has sustained recently. We've got 3 polls in 1 weekend saying the same thing.

    Luxon should have been able to smash Labour for: Cyclone Gabrielle response; Stuart Nash; Meka Whaitiri; school strikes; hospital crises; unstable coalition partners; income corrosion from inflation and interest rate hikes; uninspiring pre-budget launches, and more.

    Neither Luxon nor Willis are doing the job expected of them even when Labour make it easy.

    • Sanctuary 1.1

      I've been pretty confident Labour will squeak in because National's biggest problem is no one likes their policies. After six years they are still peddling the same stuff that Bill English was pushing. Add to that a deeply out of touch caucus dominated by culture war evangelicals and Luxon is the least of their worries.

      • SPC 1.1.1

        The rentier generation can see that Luxon is a landlord promoting policies that enrich himself.

        That never happened under Key (money made offshore and in a trust) and English farmowner (and double dipper assisted by parliamentary rules) not so much.

        National could always change their policies and remove the real problem.

      • Craig H 1.1.2

        Some of their tax and landlord policies basically made me think they had decided to fight over the 2017 election all over again…

      • Kevin 1.1.3

        The much talked about ‘policy machine’ under Simon Bridges disappeared quietly.

      • infused 1.1.4

        It's not their policies. It's their people.

    • newsense 1.2

      F me mate. You were reading intercine bloodshed and worse, a lack of disingenuous argument from B-diddy Dottore Edwards, based on a 1.4% drop in the Greens.

      I was waiting with baited breath to see what 2.4! 2…. point……4 would mean for the National Party who let’s not forget are on their 4th leader of this time in opposition, unless I’m mistaking it, with a clear and awkward factionalisation between those that JK like don’t really believe in anything and those who are signed up to Republican esque theocracy and celebrated the abortion ban in the states and their war on women.

      A failure of the conservative faction? A disloyal liberal faction stirring? Wealthy donors not getting value for money?

      • Ad 1.2.1

        A 1.4% drop in Green vote is over 10% of their vote.

        A 2.4% drop in Labour vote is less than 4%.

        The Green drop means more both to them and to the future of a progressive government in New Zealand.

        • newsense

          Or it’s not a trend in Green vote which has bounced around and is well within the error margin of the polls. It shows that there is strength in the core Green vote.

          Luxon’s shows that in right wing circles there is a fair amount of discontent with him, but they’re not quite sure what to do.

          I’m not a tea leaf reader the way you are, but fracturing opposition, alongside some bizarre ideas like this receipt system, seem more consequential than a small movement of the Green vote.

          And with Luxon currently on 16 popularity rating means that a drop of 2 points would be a loss of 15% of his rating.

          Lies, damn lies and whatever Shane Jones and Stephen Joyce like to say about the Greens in election season…

        • newsense

          Oh sorry from the article above and the point of the thread- Luxon has dropped 2.4 points in popularity. Can’t edit my comment for some reason.

    • Ngungukai 1.3

      Luxton should head back to McDonalds probably find a job as a Kitchen Hand.

  2. Incognito 2

    With his landing gear firmly locked on the runway, he never got lift-off. He’ll make a good real-estate agent.

  3. tWiggle 3

    With super large personalities John Tamahere, Ol' Winnie, and now Brian Tamaki all pumping up glossy personas for the election, no wonder Luxon's looking to the electorate as appetising as a tired white bread sandwich with a piece of limp lettuce and a slice of luncheon. They will crowd him out in the news cycle.

    • Graeme 3.1

      Not only crowd him out of the news cycle, probably crowd National out of the treasury benches. 4 or 5 parties around 4% scrapping over the 'don't like Labour' vote and it's 3 more years…

    • Thinker 3.2

      I wonder if TPM will try and poach him wink

      • tWiggle 3.2.1

        (Heavy dose of /sarc) To extend my food analogy, TMP would only consider poaching Luxon lightly with vinegar, perhaps with a sprig of parsley.

      • Ngungukai 3.2.2

        He could stand for TMP in the Pakuranga Electorate ???

  4. tsmithfield 4

    It all depends how you want to spin the numbers. An equally justified headline would have been "Labour loses nearly twice as much support as National".

    Though, that heading is completely inane as well. But, is technically true.

    • Sanctuary 4.1

      National should be miles ahead of Labour given all the economic problems the country is having right now. The fact is Luxon is unpopular and so are their policies.

      • tsmithfield 4.1.1

        We will see.

        Paradoxically, the fact the polls are so close with TMP as the king-maker is likely not good for Labour. If that is still the situation at the election, then there could be tactical voting to keep TMP out of government.

        I think Luxon's problem is that he just needs to be himself, and not try and do all sorts of cringe-worthy stuff to show he is an average bloke. And, actually hold a firm confident stance on issues, and not listen too much to his spin doctors.

        • SPC

          No Luxon being himself is the problem – as in a person advantaged by having assets and access to finance to leverage that to generate more and more wealth via property. His policies are designed to suit those of his class against the majority of other New Zealanders.

          Exploiting global inflation caused by logistic impacts – pandemic, war and sanctions as well as domestic credit growth to prevent pandemic recession and pandering to settler fears of Maori aspiration for redress is all National has to hid this.

          As for TPM with confidence and supply votes – National gave them whanau ora (yet oppose Maori Health), they oppose He Puapua – the report was only done after they signed us up to the UN Right of the Indigenous Peoples. Can you imagine what National would have said if Labour had done these things …

          And what would National give TPM for c and s if they need it from 2023 – so they can restore mortgage interest deductibility against rent income and cut the brightline test to 2 years, adjust tax threshholds (each one generates its own tax cut to those at the top levels of income) etc.

        • bwaghorn

          " If that is still the situation at the election, then there could be tactical voting to keep TMP out of government.

          Your going to have to plant that seed in alot in more fertile soil than at the standard if you want it to take root.

        • Sanctuary

          "Luxon being himself" means a multi-millionaire wearing an ill-fitting (probably hired) morning suit to the coronation.

          I mean, for God's sake man. You are very rich. You've had weeks and weeks of notice. You are going to a who’s who of the monied snob class in a city which boasts Saville Row. And you go in an off the peg outfit? Jesus wept. For the love of all that is good, just get 20k out of your fat, fat bank account and get a bloody suit that fits made for you by a decent NZ tailor, And let everyone know you are supporting NZ business while you do it.

          It just speaks to a certain Philistinism and to very bad judgement.

          • Patricia Bremner

            No generosity of spirit and or compassion is evident imo.

          • tWiggle

            Luxon’s lack of style – well spotted. I think I’ve seen him recently in a too-small acrylic knitwear vest from The Warehouse, like my son buys for work.

            Key at least had a 'Wolf of Wall St' crossed with stylish exercise wear vibe.

      • Ngungukai 4.1.2

        A Bible Banging, Corporate Chrome Dome only appeals to a certain sector of New Zealand's Society.

        • Thinker

          Not that I warm to Luxon, but I don't think of him as a Bible-banger – not in his political speeches anyway.

          I think of him more as saying the things that will please his political masters, and not what swinging voters want to hear, being his downfall. I guess that could be a carryover from him being a business-leader-turned-politician, as opposed to someone with nothing but political experience.

          In the 2020 election, National installed Judith Collins in July before the October election, so its not impossible they will do the same again. But, perhaps a follow-up article to this one would be who the heck is waiting in the wings to take Luxon's place?

          • Stephen D

            So who are the usual suspects?

            Bishop, Willis, Woodhouse????

            And of course (drum roll please) JUDITH.

        • tWiggle

          Not having been at TS for long, this old post of TS from my duckduckgo search seems the best examination of Luxon's religious leanings.

          How will Luxon's affiliation with The Upper Room sect play out if he gets to be PM? Will he be a climate denier Scott Morrison prosperity Christian (emphasis prosperity, not Christian), with a moral compass out of a Christmas Cracker? Or like Bill English, a strong Catholic who didn't bring religious specifics into political action except in conscience votes on abortion, gay marriage and euthanasia?
          Guessing the first.

  5. Reality 5

    His photo with Richie McCaw on a bridge while in London for the Coronation, dressed in an ill-fitting morning suit, said it all. There was Richie, looking impressive, and there was Luxon, looking awkward and not the least like a potential PM.

    • Tiger Mountain 5.1

      Yes, Baldrick has never clicked–‘baggy trousers’ with formal dress is rarely a good look. Mr McCaw was another closet tory during his rugby career, rarely commenting on anything non oval ball related.

      Hopefully NZ Natzos will keep Mr Luxon on for the General Election!

    • James Simpson 5.2

      Is this the level we have got to?

      How on earth does his choice of clothing have anything to do with his ability to be PM? There is plenty to critique him on. Physical appearance isn't one of them.

      For years we shook our heads at the right doing this with Jacinda. Can we please not repeat their gutter politics.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 5.2.1

        You're right, of course – appearance/fashion-wise, Luxon is a step up from some politically successful past leaders of the National party, and a step down from others. Ideally, fashion would matter a lot less than policy, ability and track-record. Ideally…

        Opinion: Is It Okay to Talk About Fashion & Politics? [21 Oct 2020]
        Here's hoping that's what many politicians were able to relax in at home, even for a moment, after a seemingly never-ending campaign – before the parliamentary power suits reappear.

  6. Thinker 6

    OMG you are right! He's wearing low-rider pants and the bottom half says he is about to ram-raid a dairy.

    If the photographer had moved him a little to our left, he could have had a halo…

  7. Alan 7

    Labour's days are numbered more like

    • Ngungukai 7.1

      Both Labour and National's Days are Numbered, both the same just like Pepsi and Coke.

  8. Peter 8

    Will National trot out the line …again….that we just got to know him and that he is a great guy according to Shane Reti?

    Luxon may be 'working hard' but he has been long enough in the job for people to know him. Let's face it, he is not popular.

    His style of opposing is robotic and always negative and therefore comes across as insincere and untrustworthy.

  9. alwyn 9

    I fear that the writer of this piece, and most of the commenters are whistling in the wind. Luxon is doing better than nearly all his predecessors. Hipkins is worse than any of them.

    I have had a look back into the preferred PM polls back to the 1999 election to see how the then PM and the leader of the Opposition were doing at this point in the election cycle, when we were 5 months out from the election. I was unable to find any preferred PM numbers for 2005 so that one is not counted.

    Every single Prime Minister was doing better than Hipkins is. There were 7 doing better and none who were lower than he is.

    Only 2 Opposition leaders were doing better than Luxon is. Five had lower numbers than he has.

    To claim that Hipkins is doing well and that Luxon is doomed is deserving of the retort in the Australian film The Castle. "Tell him he's dreaming"

    All the figures were taken from the Wikipedia articles on pre-election polling for the relevant election. I think I would blow the maximum number of links if I try to reference them all directly.

    • Corey 9.1

      The incumbent prime minister is almost always miles and miles ahead the opposition simply for being the incumbent.

      It's weird seeing the left go on about preferred pm pollings when the left spent many years saying they were irrelevant due to incumbency bias.

      Bill English was miles ahead of ardern in 2017 and the left were saying it was because he's the incumbent and preferred pm is irrelevant.

      Even the snooze fest that is English was miles ahead of where Hipkins is right now and the gap between hipkins and luxon is far too small for my liking

      Winning a preferred pm polling on low 20s is nothing to be happy about it.

      I also don't know why the left keeps hoping for luxon to be replaced, Nicola Willis would be the next leader and as much as I dislike her policies she is more likable than luxon and could do far better with middle nz

    • Peterl 9.2

      Helen Clark had notoriously bad ratings before becoming PM. So much so there was a push to get rid of her earlier on.

      She went on to become for three terms once she secured tenure.

      The difference is that she was facing the disastrous Jenny Shipley.

      This time around Luxon is facing Hipkins who is more likeable,competent and politically savvy. Luxon is a novice and not an effective one at that.

    • Clive Macann 9.3

      Does your research take into account the length of time they were party leaders 5 months out?

      That is the difference that you are seeing here.

      Tell me I am wrong.

      • alwyn 9.3.1

        I have no idea what you are talking about. I think that Luxon has been leader of the party for about as long as Key, or Goff …..

        Key was the most popular, Goff was the least popular. What is that supposed to prove? Meanwhile Hipkins is the least favoured PM at this stage of the cycle that any one has been in the history of MMP.

    • Ngungukai 9.4

      Luxton needs to resign and go back to McDonald's where he first started IMHO.

      He is a gift which keeps on giving for Labour.

  10. Mike the Lefty 10

    First up, I don't think the preferred PM poll is worth much consideration. People answering this question tend to either name the present PM because they know who he or she is, or simply name the person who leads the party they strongly support – by default.

    The political party poll is certainly a concern for National. As others have pointed out, logically National should be well ahead of Labour at the moment with things like inflation, national debt, three waters and crime all hurting the government at the moment.

    But five months are a long time in politics. The budget may well be a key moment and I think we can expect to see mainly a disaster relief budget that avoids scaring anyone. There might be a few minor adjustments here and there but nothing that will spook the wealthy or business NZ.

    It will be a budget for re-election rather than a budget of change or progress. Exactly what National would have done under the same circumstances, although National will probably and hypocritically call it a "dullsville" budget.

    I don't blame Labour entirely. They certainly have had a loaded deck against them the last few years what with COVID, a historical mass shooting, a series of natural disasters and war-driven inflation, but it seems a shame that a party who claimed the first outright majority in MMP-era NZ failed to use it to their advantage, as National most certainly would have in the same circumstances.

    • Ngungukai 10.1

      We would all be living in Paradise if National had been in power the past six (6) years.

      • Mike the Lefty 10.1.1

        Yeah, a fool's paradise.

      • Powerman 10.1.2

        But National was in power for the previous 9 years and we weren't in paradise, so I take it that you are being sarcastic.

  11. Reality 11

    James Simpson – I well recall the endless nasty comments and vitriol and personal insults thrown at Jacinda for 5 years – well when she went to Buckingham Palace she looked absolutely stunning in a New Zealand designed gown. The Leader of the Opposition on the other hand looked as if he borrowed a much taller man's trousers. Hardly statesmanlike and very cringeworthy on the world stage. He was meant to be making a good impression I would have thought.

  12. Adrian 12

    So that's who Richies footman is, I had no idea. I think he dressed himself after watching too much Downton Abbey. I'm a slovenly dresser but I don't think I've ever looked that ridiculous.

    • Phillip ure 12.1

      A new nickname for luxon..?


    • Mac1 12.2

      Adrian, I bet you've got a line in great headwear 🙂 or is that 'headware'? 🙂 🙂

    • Ngungukai 12.3

      Ritchie McCaw and the National Party are joined at the hip, John Key was Ritchie McCaw's best mate.

    • Phillip ure 13.1


      That's a winner/wheeze of an idea..

      How have we lived without them before now..?

      • Mac1 13.1.1

        If you get a receipt from the IRD then obviously Luxon believes you can claim the GST back in the next tax round……

        • ianmac

          Do businesses get refunds from GST? If so would that count in the total wages and/or part of their tax bill?

          • Mac1

            Don't know about that, ianmac. We discussed at today's Grey Power meeting about getting receipts so we could claim GST back. I was also being slightly 'arch'. cf Macmillan dictionary.

            • ianmac

              Mac. I have always wondered if a business can claim back off paid GST. If so then food claimed as a business expense means that some people would be getting say food or clothing as a 15% discount.

              • Mac1

                Sorry, ianmac, but an accountant I am not. I joked at a recent meeting that I had held many positions within that organisation but never treasurer- with good reason.

    • Anne 13.2

      So, he plans to send out a cyclostyled receipt to every man, woman and child telling them what his government is spending taxpayers money on, when its available online, from the media and in parliament ad infinitum… and us taxpayers will be fundng the million odd dollars it will cost to send it.


  13. Ngungukai 14

    The hungry can always boil up the receipt with some grass clipping and have it as soup perhaps.

    • Mac1 14.1

      During the Irish Famine, that was a reality.

      "Private charities, such as Quaker soup kitchens, were overwhelmed; and bands of walking skeletons began to roam the countryside. People died in ditches, green foam issuing from their mouths because they had tried in their last moments to eat grass."

      I offered an Irish piper mussels for a meal. He spurned it, calling it 'famine food'. Memories last for generations……

  14. Tricledrown 15

    Luxon's pants look like a clowns so befitting

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