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Dr Rawiri Taonui Election 2020 | Labour & Greens vs National & Act 1 October
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Dr Rawiri Taonui Election 2020 | Labour & Greens vs National & Act 1 October

This column tracks the electoral trend in the last five 1News-Colmar Brunton (3) and Newshub-Reid (2) polls dating back to July. Employing a bracketed sequence (NHR>1CB>1CB>NHR>1CB>), the trend shows that Election 2020 is shaping as a showdown between Labour and the Greens versus National and Act.

Will Labour govern alone?

Sunday’s 27 September Newshub-Reid poll had Labour on 50.1% and able to govern alone. By contrast, Monday night’s 28 September 1News-Colmar Brunton had Labour on 47% and unable to govern alone.

Hovering between 47% to 48%, whether Labour can govern alone or not hangs in the balance. Hit 48% or more on election day and they do, hit 47% or less and they do not.

Nevertheless, Labour remains in the box seat. Wherever they land, they remain on course to secure the most party votes. Against this, the last five polls show a downward trend (60.9>53.0>48.0>50.1>47.0). Pundits should not over-read the trend, the 60.9% July result, likely a staggeringly one-off response to the successful battle against the first wave of Covid-19, was always going to come back. It does look that Labour might settle in around 44% to 45%.

Possible Labour - Greens Coalition

Labour will be cognisant that MMP has never delivered a single-party government. If they cannot govern alone then a coalition with the Greens looks likely.

The Greens were 7% on Monday night, a place they have not been since November 2019. The Greens will be buoyed by a steady increase since July (5.7>5.0>6.0>6.5>7.0). They will also be conscious of staying around 7% to 8% in the penultimate polls because in the last three votes they have dropped 1% to 2% on election night.

On a current combined total of 54%, everything is there for a Labour - Greens coalition.

National and Act

At 33% in Monday night’s 1News-Colmar Brunton, National are on the up (25.1>32.0>31.0>29.6>33.0). Will it be enough to top the vote? Likely not. With Leader Judith Collins performing well in the leadership debates, National will climb into the higher 30s.

ACT is on 8%. On trend, they will certainly enter Parliament (3.3>4.8>7.0>6.3>8.0). ACT might also reach 9% to 10% of the vote.

If Labour drops into the low 40s and the Greens are below 5% on election day, then a door opens for a National – Act coalition government. National – Act combined they are at 41%. This is 13% below Labour - Greens on 54%. If the Greens stumble, then the gap closes to 8%. And with National and Act likely to rise further in the polls, it could be single digits game on.

Voter Shifts

Sunday’s Newshub-Reid poll of voter shift between parties, talks to a result against a National - Act coalition.

Labour is retaining 83% of those who voted for them in 2017. They are also capturing significant numbers from other parties. National is retaining 63% of its voters, however, a large group has gone to Labour (21%) and a less sizeable but significant group has gone to Act (9%).

New Zealand First is likely not to return. The trend spirals downward (2.0>2.0>2.4>1.9>1.0) with the party haemorrhaging voters in all directions. A massive chunk has gone to Labour (43%).

02102020 2

One suspects this week’s Serious Fraud Office announcement of two prosecutions in the New Zealand First Foundation will be the death knell, unless one of their candidates, like Shane Jones in Northland, wins a seat. Party leader Winston Peters, a colossus of New Zealand politics, looks unlikely to save the bus.

Act is consolidating its position by taking voters from National (37%), the Māori Party (10%) and Labour (10%).

On all counts, Labour will top the election. National will finish second. Act are certain to enter Parliament. The Greens are likely to enter government. The difference between ‘certain’ and ‘likely’ might decide the government.

Minor Parties

Other minor parties are not making headway. The Māori Party is growing but they will need to win a seat if they are going to scale the electoral peaks of 2005 and 2008 (0.4>1.0>0.9>1.5>1.0). Their campaign hinges on capturing at least one of the Māori electorates. Tāmaki Makaurau, Te Tai Hauāuru or Waiāriki are their best chances.

The New Conservatives have had presence but with expressions of support rolling in from white supremacists they are not going anywhere (0.9>1.2>1.6>2.1>1.0).

Their rivals for extreme imagination, the Advance New Zealand Public Party are heading toward an appropriate demise (na>na>0.8>na>1.0). Few believe their thesis that Ardern is part of a world-wide conspiracy to establish a New World Order, which using 5G, Covid-19 and ‘cough into your elbow’ rules to deprive us of freedom, will begin with a totalitarian capitalist-fascist-communist regime instituted in New Zealand.


At this stage, the most likely outcome of the election is a Labour - Greens coalition. Second, Labour governs alone. If the Greens fall below 7% and Labour slips into the low 40s, then National and Act might squeeze past to form a government. Collins is consolidating a poor year for National but may simply run out of time.

                                                                    rawiri t



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