First poll with Luxon as National leader shows boost at Act's expense

Botany MP and National Party leader Christopher Luxon. Photo: Getty Images
National Party leader Christopher Luxon. Photo: Getty Images
The first poll since Chris Luxon took over as National Party leader shows he has given the party an immediate boost – it has risen by 6.4 points back over 30 per cent in the Taxpayers' Union Curia Poll.

And Luxon has almost immediately rocketed up to 20.4 per cent as preferred Prime Minister - up 16 points from before he was leader.

It is a National leader's strongest performance in the poll for a long time - Curia said that outside of election campaign periods, it was the highest preferred PM rating for an Opposition leader since Sir John Key.

The poll out today has National on 32.6 per cent – while Act has dropped by 5.3 points to 10.6 per cent. David Seymour has dropped almost five points as preferred PM to 5.6 per cent.

However, Luxon appears to have so far had little effect on Labour or support for the centre left - Labour was steady on 39.5 per cent and the Green Party had bumped up by 2.3 per cent to 10.9 per cent.

It is a dream start for Luxon as the summer barbecue season starts with his honeymoon underway.

Luxon said it was "an encouraging and a positive start".

"What I would say about that is there is a lot more work for us to do as a party, that's all I'm saying. We've got to focus on New Zealanders and we've got work to do around housing and we've got work to do around education and we've got work to do around mental health.

"We've got work to do about how we get to a more productive economy that leads to higher wages."

Luxon would not say whether he needed to take more support from Labour and less from Act.

His first days in the job were spent trying to reassure National voters that the party had "turned a page" on the troubles of the past. He also reshuffled his team, giving Simon Bridges the third ranking and finance portfolio and overhauling the front bench to bring in hard workers such as Erica Stanford and Simeon Brown as well as promoting Chris Bishop, the Covid-19 spokesman.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has also rallied as preferred Prime Minister - going up five points to 39 per cent.

The poll of 1000 voters was taken from December 1 to December 8 - starting the day after Luxon became leader.

The Māori Party were up slightly at 3 per cent and NZ First were on 2.3 per cent.

That followed a stormy time for the party after former leader Judith Collins was rolled by the caucus in a no-confidence motion.

The poll shows voters are not missing Collins - she plummeted from about 6 per cent as preferred PM to 0.8 per cent.

Luxon's initial favourability rankings were also high - he had a net favourability of +15 per cent - slightly higher than the PM's on +14 per cent. That is the difference between those who viewed the politicians favourably compared to unfavourably.

Ardern still beat him on the proportion of voters who viewed her favourably - almost 50 per cent while Luxon was below 40 per cent. But more people also viewed Ardern unfavourably than Luxon.

Collins had tried to demote Simon Bridges over a five-year old comment Bridges had made to MP Jacqui Dean about the best way to conceive a baby girl.

Curia are National's traditional pollsters.

It has a margin of error of +/-3.1 per cent.


And all this after having NO policies & the punters not aware he will privatise cut & sell. bye bye Hillside.
The right wing (majority) media love him and have given him not only a soft ride but carried him aloft.
In the meantime naughty Jacinda has made the hard decisions and has got us safely through Covid with one of the best economies in the world - whilst spending large getting hospitals, railway, police etc back to where they were.

This is really reflecting a staggering fall for the Labour Government who were so popular just 12 months ago.

Not really. The last election was an unprecedented result and that level was never going to be maintained even without covid. Despite the Labour's position is still stronger than 4 years ago when they ousted National. Labour and the greens still easily beat national/act

If I remember correctly, when Muller became leader of the national party the first public opinion poll saw a leap in nationals popularity by something like 9%. Then of course came the Michelle Boag and Hamish walker scandals, and of course constant undermining from within from crusher collins, and Muller melted under the pressure.
What will be interesting is how Luxon deals with his first in house crisis, and it will come, this is the National party remember, can Luxon hold it together, or will he melt like all the others?

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