Poll: New Zealand Labour and Greens parties gain support

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

A recent 3 News poll conducted by TNS has shown that the New Zealand Labour party and the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand have both gained support, with the Greens controlling the majority.

The party currently holding majority in parliament, Labour, has grown its seat majority in the House to 54, from its current level of 50, according to the poll. Its major political rival, the National party has gained three seats to 51. And the Green party would raise its seats from six to ten. All other political parties do not cross the threshold of support, 5%.

Labour now has 44% support, last year the same poll showed Labour on 42%; National is up one percent to 41%; and the Greens are on eight percent, from seven percent, the highest support the Greens have gained in over two years. The other political parties that would not be able to enter parliament unless they won an electorate seat, would be New Zealand First on 2.8%; Māori party on two percent; and United Future and ACT do not receive very much support at all, with both on 0.8%.

Nine percent of those polled had not yet decided on their party preference.

Because New Zealand First does not have an electorate seat they would not have any seats in the parliament. Māori party would hold four seats because of the electorates it controls. United Future and ACT both hold an electorate each and would not gain any more seats in the House.

The poll also had a preferred Prime Minister (PM) section, with Helen Clark, the current PM, with non-changing 35%. John Key, the new leader of the National party, has jumped from eight percent to 24% in the poll. Former National leader, Don Brash's highest support was 25%. 84% said Helen Clark was a capable leader, with only 54% saying John Key would be a capable leader. 42% said Helen Clark was out of touch with the public but only 22% said John Key was out of touch. Ms Clark said: "We've got a big year ahead of us in government, and a lot of important policies. I'm looking forward to it." John Key said: "Over the next 18 months I've got a big job to convince the people of New Zealand that I'm ready to assume the mantle of prime minister."

According to 3 News, the rise in support for Greens and Labour is due to global warming. Both parties have put policies regarding climate change as very important.

Since the poll was conducted between January 24 and February 1, it does not take into account Mr Key's recent State of the Nation speech.

Another poll conducted by UMR, showed a majority of support for Labour on 43%, but a decrease in support for the Greens. National was on 41%. New Zealand First, ACT and the Māori party rose in support and United Future declined in support.

The poll has a margin of error of 3.1% and was conducted on 1,000 eligible voters.