15 May 2011

Poll shows jump in ACT support to over 5%

2:03 pm on 15 May 2011

A new poll released on Sunday suggests support for the ACT party has jumped since Don Brash became leader, and also shows the new Mana party making an impact.

According to the Horizon Research poll, support for ACT rose to 5.3% this week - up from 3.7% in April - following the change of leadership from Rodney Hide to Dr Brash.

If that level of support were sustained on election day in November, six ACT list MPs would be elected to Parliament.

A political scientist at Otago university, Bryce Edwards, says the poll result is the least ACT would have expected out of the leadership change and "they'll be hoping it's not just a honeymoon period".

Support for Mana, which has yet to be officially registered, is at 2.3%, ahead of the Maori Party's 2.1%.

Dr Edwards says the new party will be happy with that for now: "This puts them in the game, it shows that they're a serious player."

Labour makes biggest gain

Labour makes the biggest gain, going from 23.9% last month to 26.9%. National slips from 37.7% to 36.6% but is still well ahead of its main rival.

Horizon Research says that, on these figures, a National-ACT-Maori Party-United Future coalition has 44.9% support compared with 43.5% for a Labour-Green-New Zealand First coalition.

More than 1800 people took part in the survey on Thursday and Friday; it has a margin of error of 2.3%.