The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll results show nearly half of New Zealanders believe National leader Christopher Luxon is out of touch.
It comes as the National leader also suffers a drop in the preferred Prime Minister rankings, down 2.4 points to 16.4 percent, compared to Labour’s Chris Hipkins’ 23.4 percent (up 3.8 points).
It was just last week that Hipkins and Luxon were at the wondrous Westminster Abbey for the King’s coronation.
The extravagance and regality is the most beautiful distraction from cold, hard reality.
Aside from cleaning up after natural disasters, Hipkins has been mopping up Labour’s own messes – from Stuart Nash to Meka Whaitiri.
“Some weeks you have good weeks, some weeks you have bad weeks,” Hipkins said.
Hipkins branded his premiership on bread and butter, usually with a sausage in between. But it feels like Labour’s been serving up scandals instead.
The other Christopher raised a glass to their misfortune, labelling Labour, the Greens and Te Pāti Māori a “coalition of chaos”.
But handshakes, hope, and mingling at London pubs aren’t convincing Kiwis that Luxon is likeable.
Asked if he is the right person to lead the National Party, Luxon replied: “Absolutely yeah. Absolutely.”
And has he considered standing down to make way for someone else?
“Never, no,” he said.
It’s now an all-out drag race to October 14. Everyone is on the same page there.
“There’s no doubt it’s a tight election race ahead,” Hipkins said.
“There is no doubt about, this is going to be a really close election,” said Luxon.
So let the attack lines begin.
“Do you want a coalition of chaos or do you want a strong stable Government?” asked Luxon.
Hipkins said: “Any National Party is likely to be part of a coalition of cuts.”
The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll asked, do you think the leaders are in touch or out of touch with the issues facing New Zealanders?
The results show 49.9 percent said Hipkins was in touch with their issues, while 35.6 percent said he was out of touch.
But on the other hand, only 37.2 percent thought Luxon was in touch with issues facing Kiwis and nearly half – 47 percent – thought he was out of touch.
“I don’t think I am [out of touch]. I think for me, I’m really in touch with what’s going on in New Zealand,” Luxon said.
“Voters can make their judgements based on the personality traits or the characteristics of each individual leader. I am just going to be myself,” Hipkins said.
Falling in popularity and relatability, Luxon has this week cut off a bridge to the Beehive, ruling out Te Pāti Māori from any post-election governing arrangement.
But Te Pāti Māori are still revelling in their political revolution of swiping Whaitiri from Labour.
Te Pāti Māori is the Chris-maker in this poll.
“It doesn’t really matter what the two Chrises say because their endgames are vastly different to ours. We have to be transformational,” said Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
Luxon said he doesn’t regret ruling out Te Pāti Māori.
“Not at all,” he said.
Be careful who you make an enemy of when friends are the path to power.
The Newshub-Reid Research poll was conducted between 5 May – 11 May 2023 with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.