The Labour Party’s rise and the Green Party’s fall from grace has been reflected in the second major poll since Jacinda Ardern and Metiria Turei’s diverging fortunes caught political attention in recent weeks.
The latest 1 News Colmar Brunton poll alarmingly shows the Greens at 4.3% – below the 5% threshold needed to enter Parliament with no electorate seats. That’s an 11 point fall from three weeks ago.
Labour was up 13 points to 37%, with National down three at 44% and New Zealand First down one at 10%. The Opportunities Party remained on 2% and the Maori Party was up a point, also at 2%.
Just as the latest Three Reid Research poll indicated, Winston Peters’ New Zealand First remained in the Kingmaker position. 1 News reported the ‘undecided’ category was down seven points to 13%.
Meanwhile, Ardern and Prime Minister Bill English polled evenly at 30% in the preferred Prime Minister stakes.
The poll was of 1,007 and conducted between August 12 and 16. These polls typically have a margin of error of just over 3% – so the Green Party’s fortunes might not be as bad as the headline suggests.
With recent opinion polls suggesting Winston Peters will be king or queen maker after the September 23 election, the NZ First leader has announced that his party wants to increase the minimum wage to $20 an hour.
This would be done over three years, Peters said in a speech in Tauranga, and NZ First would also introduce a tax package for employers and businesses to negate their increased costs.
Interestingly Peters’ speech refers to his party’s confidence and supply agreement with the last Labour government between 2005 and 2008 that saw the minimum wage increased by $3 an hour.
“We insisted that the minimum wage go from $9 per hour to $12 progressively by 2008. That is the biggest rise ever in the shortest time ever in this country’s history,” Peters said.
Does this suggest that Peters may be leaning towards backing a Labour Party reinvigorated under new leader Jacinda Ardern? On the surface his minimum wage policy may sound more palatable to Labour than National. But Peters will no doubt keep us guessing up to, and probably beyond September 23.
Labour has an excellent housing platform that addresses both supply and demand with negative gearing reform, removal of urban growth boundaries plus bond financing for infrastructure. It is also intent on reducing immigration by around a third.
Winston Peters is clearly more oriented towards Labour given he backs both.
Canberra take note!