Poll shows New Zealand populist party could be kingmaker as Labour slides

وطن نيوز25 سبتمبر 2023آخر تحديث :

وطن نيوز

SYDNEY – Support fell further for New Zealand’s incumbent Labour party in an opinion poll released on Monday, with the populist New Zealand First party emerging as a potential kingmaker in next month’s general election.

In the Oct. 14 vote, the centre-right National led by Christopher Luxon is expected to emerge as the largest party in a coalition government.

National leads Prime Minister Chris Hipkins’ Labour 31.9% to 26.5%, the Newshub-Reid Research poll showed, though no single party will have enough support to form a government alone.

New Zealand elects lawmakers using a mixed-member proportional (MMP) system that has made coalitions the norm since it was introduced in 1996.

Lawmakers are elected either in one of 72 constituencies, or from a centralised list based on overall vote share.

The biggest winner from Monday’s poll was Winston Peters and his populist New Zealand First party, which crossed the 5% threshold required to elect lawmakers from the centralised list.

New Zealand First’s six projected seats in the 120-member parliament would make the party the kingmaker in a coalition led by National and potential partners ACT New Zealand, another right-wing party. REUTERS