Hipkins takes big popularity hit in latest poll

Chris Hipkins (left) is now well behind Christopher Luxon in the preferred Prime Minister...
Chris Hipkins (left) is now well behind Christopher Luxon in the preferred Prime Minister rankings, a new poll shows. Image: NZ Herald
Chris Hipkins’ popularity has taken a significant blow since last year’s general election.

A 1News-Verian poll tonight shows the Labour leader has dropped 10 points to 15 per cent in the preferred Prime Minister rankings.

He is now well behind Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, whose popularity is unchanged at 25 per cent.

Meanwhile, Green Party co-leadership hopeful Chlöe Swarbrick has leapfrogged co-leader Marama Davidson - up two points to 4 per cent popularity - now level with Act’s David Seymour.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is on 6 per cent in the preferred leader poll.

For party support, National was up one point since the last 1News-Verian poll just before last year’s election, sitting on 38 per cent.

Labour is steady on 28 per cent, the Greens are down two points to 12, Act is down one to eight, and New Zealand First is steady on 6 per cent.

Te Pāti Māori is up two points to 4 per cent.

The poll surveyed about 1000 eligible voters and was weighted for demographics, with a margin of error of 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence interval.

1News-Verian poll results 

National - 38 per cent (same as election)

Labour - 28 (up 1)

Greens - 12 (same)

ACT - 8 (down 1)

NZF - 6 (same)

TPM - 4 (up 1)

TOP - 2 (same)

Preferred Prime Minister 

Chris Luxon (National) - 25 per cent (same as last TVNZ poll)

Chris Hipkins (Labour) - 15 (down 10)

Winston Peters (NZ First) - 6 (up 1)

David Seymour (ACT) - 4 (same)

Chloe Swarbrick (Greens) - 4 (up 2)

Dame Jacinda Ardern (Labour) - 2 (up 1)

Tonight’s results come after two polls released this year show National’s support rising while also painting a conflicting picture about the level of support Act received following discussion of its Treaty Principles Bill at Waitangi this month.

In a Taxpayers’ Union-Curia poll taken over the first week of February and released on February 10, Act shot up 5.6 percentage points to 13.7 per cent since the last TPU-Curia poll in November.

National was also up 2.6 points to 39.6 per cent, while NZ First has dropped to 5 per cent (down 1).

On those results, NZ First would no longer be needed to form a government - Act and National would get 66 seats between them- National getting 49 and Act 17.

Among the Opposition parties, the Greens dropped sharply to 9 per cent (down 4.8 points), likely a response to former MP Golriz Ghahraman stepping down after allegedly shoplifting, combined with James Shaw’s announcement that he would step down as co-leader and leave Parliament before the end of the year.

Labour dropped slightly to 27.9 per cent (down 0.4). Te Pāti Māori was on 2.3 per cent (-1.1 points), and other parties combined were on 2.5 per cent.

A week later, a poll conducted by Talbot Mills for its corporate clients also had National extending its lead over Labour, with a two-point increase to 38 per cent.

Labour’s support fell one point to 29 per cent. Talbot-Mills runs a separate internal poll for that party.

The Greens were steady on 12 per cent, while Act fell one point to 7 per cent - much lower than the Curia poll.

NZ First was on 6.2 per cent, Te Pāti Māori polled 4.9 per cent, and Top polled 1.4 per cent. The poll has a margin of error of 3.1 per cent.

The poll was taken between February 1 and February 10 and included the period around Waitangi Day, where the government’s approach to the Treaty of Waitangi was front and centre.

Luxon was ahead as preferred Prime Minister at 27 per cent, no change from the previous month. Hipkins was down three points to 23 per cent.

A commentary released with the poll noted the national mood seems to be shifting in favour of the new government.

The right track/wrong track metric showed 43 per cent of people thought the country was on the right track, compared with 41 per cent of people who thought the country was on the wrong track.

It is the first time the poll has recorded a net positive “right track” performance since June 2022.