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New Zealand PM Ardern loses ground but on track to win election

The move by New Zealand’s opposition National party to switch leaders within four months of September’s election has been welcomed by Kiwi voters.

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However, Jacinda Ardern’s governing Labour Party remains on track for a second term according to the latest poll, conducted by public broadcaster 1News.

Labour is at 50 per cent, down nine points, while National has jumped to 38 per cent, up nine points.

Spooked by poor performances in polls after the country’s COVID-19 lockdown, National replaced embattled leader Simon Bridges with Todd Muller five weeks ago.

On these numbers, Mr Muller has no pathway to power – but on this trajectory, National will force Ms Ardern into a tough battle for government.

Ms Ardern is well liked by voters, leading the preferred prime minister stakes 54 per cent to Mr Muller’s 13 per cent.

AP

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