NZ votes: Pollster gives conservative parties an edge as Kiwis go to the polls

If the polls are right, NZ PM Chris Hipkins' only hope would be a coalition with the Greens.

If the polls are right, NZ PM Chris Hipkins' only hope would be a coalition with the Greens. Photo: AAP

A final pre-election poll shows the National Party will need both ACT and New Zealand First’s numbers to form government.

Australian pollster Roy Morgan released its final survey of the NZ landscape on Friday evening, confirming a tight contest between the left and right blocs.

While the numbers differed slightly from other polls released this week, the outcome was the same – National can end Labour’s two terms in office on Saturday and govern with a three-party coalition.

National remains in an election-winning position, holding the support of 30.5 per cent of New Zealanders (down 0.5 per cent).

It will be boosted by ACT on 11.5 per cent (down 6.5) and Winston Peters’ NZ First on 7.5 per cent (up two).

Chris Hipkins’ incumbent Labour Party is behind with 26 per cent (up two) and set to leave office after two terms.

The Greens have enjoyed a strong campaign, and are on 15 per cent (up 2.5) while the Maori Party charted three per cent support (down one).

In 2023, the parties are divided into two camps – left and right.

The right bloc of National, ACT and NZ First holds 49.5 per cent support.

The turnout factor

The left bloc of Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party trails, with 44 per cent support.

Turnout is a major question at this poll, with expectations of a slightly reduced voter count due to a grumpy electorate and a negative, uninspiring campaign.

In the 2020 election, 2.9 million voters cast ballots – a turnout rate of 82 per cent.

The latest advance voting figures released by the Electoral Commission show 1.16 million New Zealanders had voted up to Thursday.

Those numbers are tracking just above the 2017 contest, but below the last election – something analysts attribute to a high demand for advance voting due to COVID-19.

The Roy Morgan projected results are:

  • National: 30.5 per cent (down 0.5 per cent) – likely 39 MPs in parliament
  • Labour: 26 (up two) – 33 MPs
  • Greens: 15 (up 2.5) – 19 MPs
  • ACT: 11.5 (down 6.5) – 15 MPs
  • NZ First: 7.5 (up two) – 10 MPs
  • Maori Party: Three (down one) – four MPs
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