5 Jun 2018

No Budget lift for Labour in polls but support for PM still strong

1:15 pm on 5 June 2018

Poll of Polls - It's confirmed: Labour did not get a lift from the Budget. So say all three post-Budget polls in RNZ's poll of polls. But voters still firmly say the country is on the right track.

Prime Minister Jackinda Ardern.

UMR Research reported a 76% favourable rating for Jacinda Ardern, while Newshub had her on 55% favourable. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Labour's average of the three post-budget polls was 42.2%, close behind National's 44%. The Greens were 5.9%, so Labour plus the Greens were still 3.7% ahead of National.

These figures represent a drop for Labour from 44.0% in the February average reported in RNZ's March poll of polls and a rise for National from 42.7%. The Greens were 6.7% then.

New Zealand First was 3.9% (4.0% in February). That would put it out of Parliament. So on the May numbers there would be a two-party Labour-Green government.

ACT was still languishing at 0.6% across the three polls and the Māori Party was on 1.2%.

Even if the Budget didn't jump Labour's party support numbers, it can bask in continuing very strong voter endorsement of Jacinda Ardern, both as preferred Prime Minister (41% in the 1 News Colmar Brunton poll and 40% in the Newshub Reid Research poll) and in favourability ratings.

UMR Research reported a 76% favourable rating for Ms Ardern (a mere 3 points down from her February peak) against 19% unfavourable (5 points up from February). Only 5% didn't have a view. Newshub had her on 55% favourable.

National has not been ahead since November 2017.

National has not been ahead since November 2017. Photo: Supplied to RNZ

National leader Simon Bridges trailed far behind. Only 9% in Newshub's and 12% in 1 News' post-budget polls preferred him as Prime Minister.

But Mr Bridges' favourability ratings picked up a bit. In UMR Research's May poll those viewing him favourably rose to 45% from 36% in March, his first reading as leader. But his unfavourable score also rose, from 28% to 32%. In Newshub's poll 12% more rated him favourably than unfavourably.

There was also good news for the government in continued strong majorities in the UMR Research poll saying the country is on the right track, even though down a bit from a peak in February: 63% were positive and 27% negative in the May poll (69%-19% in February).

The news was also modestly positive on the economic outlook in the 1 News poll: 40% positive and 35% negative (up from 37%-33% in February).

The poll average is drawn from the latest 1 News Colmar Brunton, Newshub Reid Research and UMR Research polls.

This will be the last RNZ poll of polls until there are more than just three reliable polls, those named above, available to draw from, Roy Morgan no longer being available.

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