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Research Results

Labour best to manage most issues, but not the economy overall

19 Sep 17

Labour best to manage most issues, but not the economy overall
Labour seen as best on more issues, but not economy overall

Definite voters think Labour is best to manage 10 of 17 major issues.

A Horizon poll finds Labour is seen as better to manage health, housing, immigration, education, household income, child poverty, cost of living, welfare benefits, the quality of life and the environment.

National is seen as better on traffic congestion, new transport infrastructure, retirement income, crime and the economy overall.

The parties are even (45% each) on employment.

The poll of 846 respondents was taken between September 9 and 14.

It is weighted by age, gender and region to ensure it represents the New Zealand adult population at the last census. At a 95% confidence level, the maximum margin of error for the decided voter sample is +/- 3.4%. The poll complies with Research New Zealand’s code for political polls.

Economic management

In the past being viewed as the best to manage the economy has been considered important to winning.

The survey finds that among those registered to vote and 100% likely to vote, 52% feel National is best for the overall economy and 38% think Labour is.

A key question is whether this issue will outweigh the overall 10 to 6 issue deficit National has when people weigh up their overall feelings when they vote.

Female voters appear to be more likely to vote Labour in this election than to vote National.

In fact, they rate Labour better than National on 15 of the 17 major issues – but on the overall economy measure, 47% of them believe National is best, while 42% feel Labour is. 

57% of Male voters, on the other hand, felt that National is best for the overall economy, with 34% feeling Labour is best.  Male voters rate National better than Labour on 10 of the 17 major issues.

Overall, respondents under 35 years old who were registered and 100% likely to vote rated Labour better than National on all the major issues.  National was rated as better for the overall economy from those aged 35 or more.

Support by activities planned

First home buyers: Among the 9% who said they were looking to buy their first home in the next 12 months rated Labour ahead on 14 of the 17 major issues:  National was ahead on new transport infrastructure, retirement income and crime. 

Buying a home (not first home): It was a different story for those who were looking to buy a home – not their first one – or sell a home.  These respondents rated National as better than Labour on nearly all major issues – the exceptions being the environment and child poverty, and for those looking to sell, and health. 

Note that at the last census, 64.8% of homes were owned by their occupier or held in a family trust.  Housing policy could therefore be a potentially important issue for a much larger proportion of the population than just those looking to buy a first home.

Starting or finishing tertiary education: Those starting tertiary education or finishing it (13% of the sample), together with the 4% who were intending to start their first full-time job rated Labour ahead of National on all factors.

Here’s what people said they were looking to do in the next twelve months:

Full table results for which party is best to manage analysed by 12 activities people plan in the next 12 months are included in this poll summary.

Comments on these results are welcome at our Facebook page.

For further information please contact Grant McInman, Manager, Horizon Research, e-mail, telephone +64 21 076 2040.