New Zealand’s Ardern’s party support slips a point in latest poll

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Support for New Zealand’s ruling Labour Party slipped by one percentage point on Thursday with less than two days to the general election, an opinion poll showed on Thursday.

The closely watched 1News-Colmar Brunton poll showed support for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s party at 46%, slightly down from the last poll on Oct. 8.

The opposition National Party was also down by one percentage point at 31%. Smaller parties gained support. 

Ardern’s globally lauded responses to the country’s worst mass shooting and the coronavirus pandemic were also well received at home, although questions have been asked of Labour’s credentials to tackle the looming economic crisis.

While it was initially thought Ardern could lead Labour to the country’s first outright majority government since New Zealand adopted a proportional voting system in 1996, more recent polls have indicated she may need to lean on support from the minor Green Party.

That would produce the country’s first pure left-leaning government since 1999. Current coalition partner, nationalist New Zealand First, led by deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, is likely to exit parliament, according to the polls.

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