New Zealand National Party Surges to Poll Lead Ahead of Election

New Zealand National Party Surges to Poll Lead Ahead of Election

Bloomberg·2017-09-20 18:08

New Zealand’s ruling National Party surged back into the lead over the main opposition Labour Party in an opinion poll published three days before a general election.

Prime Minister Bill English on Sept. 20.

Photographer: Phil Walter/Getty Images

National had 46 percent support in the One News/Colmar Brunton poll broadcast Wednesday in Wellington, up from 40 percent in the previous survey published Sept. 14. Labour’s support fell to 37 percent from 44 percent. The poll of 1,000 voters was conducted the past four days.

New Zealanders vote on Sept. 23 with National trying to win a rare fourth consecutive term on the promise of tax relief and strong economic management. Labour, revitalized after selecting 37-year-old Jacinda Ardern as leader less than two months ago, is arguing for a change of direction, saying too many people have been left behind.

Jacinda Ardern on Sept. 19.

Photographer: Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images

New Zealand’s currency jumped more than half a U.S. cent after the poll result. It bought 73.69 U.S. cents at 6:15 p.m. in Wellington from 73.13 cents beforehand.

No party has won an outright majority since the South Pacific nation introduced proportional representation in 1996. National could form a government with the backing of the nationalist New Zealand First Party, which saw its support fall to 5 percent. The Green Party, which has an alliance with Labour, improved to 8 percent.

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New Zealand Election