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Research Results

New Zealand First may decide who governs

5 Dec 10

New Zealand First may decide who governs
Winston Peters ... his party may determine who forms the next Government

New Zealand First now has enough support to decide which of the main two parties governs after next year’s general election.


The Winston Peters-led party now has 6% support among people who say they will vote, according to the latest nationwide HorizonPoll, covering 1,833 intending voters.


The survey was conducted between November 16 and 22. It is weighted by age, gender, personal income, employment status, ethnicity and party vote 2008 to provide a representative population sample. The margin of error is +/- 2.2%.


People were asked how they would vote. Those who said they did not know were then asked their preference, which reduced the undecided group by about half. Those who said they would not vote were also removed.


As a result, HorizonPoll finds parties have the following vote shares among the population aged 18 or older:


  • National 34.7%
  • Labour 28.3%
  • Green 7.9%
  • New Zealand First 6%
  • ACT 2.6%
  • Maori Party 1.2%
  • Jim Anderton’s Progressives 1.2%
  • United Future 0.2%
  • Other parties 1.6%

Some 8.1% remain undecided and 8.2% prefer not to say.


HorizonPoll says, if this were the result at election time, this means National and Labour would need New Zealand First support to lead the next coalition Government.


A Labour-Green-New Zealand First coalition would have 42.2%.


A National-New Zealand First-Maori Party coalition (assuming the Maori party wins electorate seats) would have 41.4%.


A National-ACT-Maori Party coalition would have 35.9% and 36.1% if United Future wins one seat.


A Labour-Green coalition would muster about the same level of support: 36.2%.


At the 2008 election, National won support of 32.9% of the 18 plus population, Labour 25%. Some 26.7% did not vote.


Some 70.9% of New Zealand First’s 2008 voters remain loyal. Among those who say they will now vote for it, are the following from other parties:


  • 6.2% ACT
  • 2.4% Green
  •  5.6% Labour
  • 3% Maori Party
  • 3.1% National
  • 9.3% Anderton’s Progressives
  • 13.2%  other parties.

National has the support of 78.5% of its 2008 voters and has attracted 9.3% from Labour. Labour has 68.2% voter loyalty and has attracted 6.1% from National.


The Green Party has 65.2% voter loyalty; Anderton’s Progressives 59.5%; ACT 45.2%; Maori Party 54.8%.


The number of undecided voters overall is 18.9%, falling to 7.8% when they are asked to express a preference.


National would need to ensure ACT leader Rodney Hide keeps his Epsom electorate seat if ACT is to become one of its partners in forming the next government, along with New Zealand First.


United Future’s support, at 0.2%, is too small to affect the deal-making, if party leader Peter Dunne retains his seat.


The survey has 1,981 respondents, and 1,833 after excluding those who say they are not intending to vote.


For further information:

Grant McInman


Horizon Research Ltd

Telephone: 021 076 2040






Many research companies publish party vote results and exclude the number who are undecided or won’t say. Party vote shares are therefore expressed as a percentage of decided voters only.


HorizonPoll publishes results for both decided and undecided voters and those who won’t say how they are voting.


HorizonPoll results are expressed as a percentage of the New Zealand population aged 18 or older.


When HorizonPoll results are provided as a percentage of the 18+ population and for only those who have decided, or indicate a preference, the results are:



% of 18+ population

% of decided voters only










New Zealand First






Maori Party



Jim Anderton’s Progressives



United Future



Other parties




At the 2008 general election the parties achieved the following support among the 18+ population:


National 32.9%

Labour 25%

Green 4.9%

NZ First 3%

Maori Party 1.7%

ACT 2.7%

Other parties 3.1%

Not voted 26.7%

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