New Zealand Opposition On Course for Election Victory, Poll Shows

(Bloomberg) -- New Zealand’s main opposition National Party is on course to win the October election, according to the latest opinion poll.

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Support for National rose 4.3 percentage points to 40.9% in the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll published late Monday in Wellington, its best result in more than three years. Support for the ruling Labour Party fell 5.5 points to 26.8%, its lowest since 2017, when it was last in opposition.

If the results were replicated at the Oct. 14 election, National would be able to form a government with the help of the right-wing ACT Party, which had 10.1% support in the poll. Labour wouldn’t be able to muster a majority with the Green Party, which had 12.3% support, and the Maori Party, on 3.1%.

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With less than five weeks to go, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins faces an uphill battle to convince voters that Labour deserves a third term in office. The economy has been in recession, prices are surging amid a cost-of-living crisis and mortgage rates have jumped as the central bank tries to rein in inflation.

The Treasury Department will on Tuesday publish its Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update, which is expected to show wider budget deficits as the slowing economy curbs the government’s tax revenue.

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