July 30, 2020 / 9:26 AM / 9 days ago

New Zealand's Ardern on track to win September election, poll shows

FILE PHOTO: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern smiles during a news conference prior to the anniversary of the mosque attacks that took place the prior year in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Martin Hunter

(Reuters) - Support for New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern rose during July, a poll showed on Thursday, keeping her Labour party on track to win a general election in September.

The 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll showed Labour’s popularity at 53%, a rise of 3 percentage points from late June. If repeated in the elections, that would allow the party to govern on its own rather than in coalition.

The opposition National party lost 6 percentage points to 32%, after a series of scandals and a change of leader.

Support for incoming Nationals chief Judith Collins rose to 20% on a preferred prime minister basis, far higher than previous party leaders, but still well behind Ardern, whose popularity was steady at 54%.

A Nationals lawmaker resigned this month after being accused of sending a sexually explicit image to a young woman, while another resigned after admitting to leaking the names of coronavirus patients to media.

A Newshub-Reid Research Poll released on Sunday showed Labour popularity rose to 60.9%, its highest in the poll’s history.

Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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