NZ: Alliance support increases

Issue 

NZ: Alliance support increases

By Frank Enright

In the weeks following the November 6 general election, which radically changed the shape of New Zealand politics, support for the 20,000-strong progressive coalition, the Alliance, climbed 6.3% to 24.5%, while all other parties lost support.

Now a Morgan poll, published in the January 24 issue of Time magazine, shows support for the Alliance soaring; it commands a popular approval rating of 32%. The poll was conducted throughout December.

The ruling Nationals' support in December was 35%. The big losers are Labour; their rating dropped a further 8.5 points to 24%. Labour's decision to replace its former leader Mike Moore with Helen Clark has not staunched the party's loss of support.

"The Alliance predicts that if the National government thinks it can pursue its electorally rejected policies as if nothing has happened it will descend further in public support while the Alliance will gain", said John Wright, chair of the Alliance council.

Alliance leader Jim Anderton, MP for Sydenham, continues to gain in popularity. "His approval rating is an extraordinary 75% compared with 35% for [current prime minister] Bolger and just 22% for Labour's Helen Clark.

"The Alliance's gain in support at the expense of Labour is a good omen for the party in the new era of MMP [multi-member proportional representation]", says Wright.