New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is on her way to election victory, although the on-going pandemic outbreak has dented her support slightly, a widely watched poll revealed on Sunday.
A Newshub-Reid Research Poll released on Sunday showed support for Ardern’s Labour Party at 50.1%, though this is down from the record 60.9% recorded earlier this year when New Zealand was widely lauded as a world leader in battling COVID-19.
Support for the main opposition National Party was at 29.6%, up 4.5 percentage points.
Should the poll findings materialise, Ardern would govern without relying on any coalition partners.
New Zealand was COVID-free for 102 days until a second wave hit Auckland last month.
Ardern became the country’s youngest leader in more than 150 years in 2017 after the kingmaker nationalist New Zealand First Party agreed to form a government with her Labour Party, ending the National Party’s decade in power.
Ardern, 40, also holds huge global appeal due to her response to last year’s attack by a white supremacist on two mosques, a fatal volcanic eruption, and her success with the COVID-19 outbreak.