NZ General Election Poll Insights 

Freshwater Strategy conducted polling ahead of the NZ General Election on October 14th. Polling results were highly accurate, well within the margin of error. 

The Post / Freshwater Strategy poll is on track to become the most accurate poll among those published for major news mastheads in New Zealand, and the most accurate for seat estimates, correctly identifying that National and ACT will not be able to form majority government on their own. 

The Post / Freshwater Strategy poll was commissioned on the 28-30 August (~6 weeks from the election) and gave National a strong lead on more than 36%.  

The poll placed Prime Minster Chris Hipkins’ Labour Party just over a 26% vote share, down 24 points since the last election. The Greens were on 12%, ACT on 11%, and Te Pāti Māori on 3%. NZ First inched past the threshold required to enter Parliament without an electorate seat, on 6%.  

The poll results correctly identified that National and ACT were on course to require support from NZ First, or elsewhere, as a National-ACT bloc would deliver a hung Parliament. The National-ACT bloc was estimated at 60 seats, compared to the left-bloc’s 53 (Labour-Green-TPM). 

NZ First was estimated to take either seven or eight seats.  With nearly all the votes counted, the National-ACT bloc is estimated to attain approximately 60 seats, almost precisely matching the final The Post/Freshwater Strategy Poll.  

The poll showed “relieving cost of living pressures” as the number one issue 65% of NZ voters. Just prior to the election, New Zealand’s inflation rate was running at 6%, the same rate since March 2022. 

The second most important issue – a traditionally strong area for Labour – was “improving healthcare and services”, at 41%. Following close behind was “reducing crime and improving social order”.  

Of the six top concerns for voters prior to the election, four are considered traditionally strong national party territory, and two are areas that Labour had struggled to deliver during their term.  

The poll showed Chris Hipkins ahead of Chris Luxon on five of eight leadership attributes prior to the election.  

77% of voters strongly supported tougher sentences of those who break the law. During their campaign, National had a strong focus on denouncing crime by restoring the ‘Three Strikes’ law and making gang membership an aggravating factor in sentencing.  

All voter groups except Labour supporters are more likely to think Labour’s GST plan will be ineffective. Even Labour supporters are divided on the outcome of the measure. 

Results for The Post/Freshwater Strategy poll on the 2023 New Zealand General Election, conducted on 28-30 August, were published in The Post here. 

Methodology note

Freshwater Strategy interviewed n=1,511 eligible voters in New Zealand, aged 18+ online, between 28-30 August. Data are weighted to be representative of voters.

Deploying empirical strategies, we shape opinion, manage risk, and identify opportunities in shifting environments to help our clients gain a competitive advantage in commercial and political spheres.

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