Support for New Zealand’s Labour Party jumps as Chris Hipkins replaces Jacinda Ardern

Support for New Zealand’s Labour Party jumps as Chris Hipkins replaces Jacinda Ardern

Support for New Zealand’s Labor Party jumped to its highest level in almost a year after Chris Hipkins replaced Jacinda Ardern as prime minister and leader of the Labor Party.

Key Points: Polls suggest the party’s popularity has risen by more than 5 basis points to 38 percent.

Two polls taken after mr. Hipkins’ confirmation as leader by Newshub-Reid Research and 1News Kantar saw the party’s popularity rise by more than 5 basis points to 38 percent.

National stands at 37 per cent, trailing Labor for the first time since early 2022.

Ms Ardern, whose progressive policies, empathy and leadership during several crises have earned her a global profile, has faced increasing political headwinds at home in recent months.

A backlash over COVID-19 restrictions, a worsening housing crisis, rising costs of living and growing concerns about crime have seen support for her government plummet.

Mr Hipkins, a close ally of Ms Ardern, has worked to distance himself from the Ardern government in his first week in office, announcing plans to reprioritise and refine government policies.

The new prime minister has nailed the political message and managed to reconnect with former Labor supporters, political commentator and former National Party staffer Ben Thomas said.

“The challenge from here is to meet those expectations in an environment where inflation and interest rates remain high, and some unpopular policies may be difficult to unpick,” he said.

Under current poll results and New Zealand’s German-style proportional representation system, neither traditional coalition partners on the center-right or center-left will have the support needed to govern after an election scheduled for October 14 and will probably need the support of another. smaller party.


Mr Hipkins announced a new cabinet on Tuesday and reiterated the focus for ministers would be on “core bread and butter issues such as cost of living, education, health, housing and keeping communities and businesses safe.”

Grant Robertson will remain as finance minister, while Andrew Little will take over the defense portfolio from Peeni Henare.

Nanaia Mahuta will remain as Minister of Foreign Affairs, but Mr. Hipkins said at a media conference that he took away her other portfolios to free up time for her to focus more on foreign policy and allow her to travel more internationally.

Carmel Sepuloni, the new deputy prime minister, who is of Samoan, Tongan and European descent, will be joint minister of foreign affairs.

Mr Hipkins said both he and Ms Sepuloni were looking forward to engaging in the Pacific, where China has increased its influence.

“Our Pacific neighbors are incredibly important to us. Will they see more of us? Yes, absolutely,” Mr Hipkins said.

Mr Hipkins’ first official trip as prime minister will be to Australia next week, where he is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.


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