Jacinda Ardern's popularity dips to lowest since becoming PMAugust 9, 2022
Jacinda Ardern’s popularity nosedives to its lowest level since becoming prime minister as the reason she’s losing voters is revealed
- New poll found just 30 per cent of New Zealanders want Jacinda Ardern as PM
- It is the lowest popularity figure she has recorded since taking office in 2017
- Ms Ardern is facing growing pressure over her country’s cost-of-living crisis
- Her stringent Covid policies have also made her popularity wane among some
Jacinda Ardern’s popularity has fallen to its lowest level since she became New Zealand’s prime minister, with voter support souring over her stringent Covid policies and the nation’s cost of living crisis.
A new poll has revealed that just 30 per cent of New Zealanders see her as their preferred candidate for PM, down from 33 per cent back in May.
It is the lowest popularity figure Ms Ardern has recorded since taking office in 2017 and comes ahead of an election which is set to take place before January 2024.
Jacinda Ardern’s popularity has fallen to its lowest level since she became New Zealand’s prime minister
In better news for Ms Ardern, her opponent, National’s Chris Luxon, still has significantly less popularity.
Mr Luxon picked up just 22 per cent of the vote in the new poll.
Last month, Ms Ardern said she’d be prepared to take an ‘honest’ look into the drivers of inflation in New Zealand – though she pointed the finger at global pressures and not domestic issues.
The PM pledged to tackle the cost of living crisis in the country and said the impact of inflation is something the government must ‘try and support New Zealanders through’.
As of last week, more than two million New Zealanders were given $116 – the first of three instalments of a cost of living payment.
New Zealanders who earns below $70,000 a year and who is not receiving the nation’s winter energy payment can get the money.
Ms Ardern’s voter support is souring over her stringent Covid policies and the nation’s cost of living crisis
Two further $116 instalments will be automatically put into eligible people’s bank accounts on September 1 and October 3.
‘We know that the cost of living has increased,’ Ms Ardern said last week. ‘We see the inflation figures tell us what’s happening in our economy right now and so this is in response to the fact that we are experiencing high levels of inflation now and forecasting is that will peak and then come away.’
Ms Ardern has also faced criticism over her handling of the coronavirus crisis after two long years of strict policies to keep the virus out.
In July, she triggered outrage after being pictured in a crowd of more than 100 people without a face mask – just days after calling for New Zealanders to wear them.
The Kiwi leader posted a picture of herself alongside MPs and dozens of young people for a Youth Parliament event.
Ms Ardern’s opponent, National’s Chris Luxon (pictured), still has significantly less popularity at just 22 per cent of the total vote, the poll revealed
Smiling broadly, Ms Ardern went without a mask for the photo, with only one member of the crowd wearing a face covering.
The image triggered instant anger on social media amid surging Covid cases in the country.
Last month, it was revealed that Covid cases in Singapore and New Zealand have overtaken Australia, despite their strong mask mandates.
On Tuesday, it was announced New Zealand will remain at the orange Covid-19 traffic light setting while hospitalisations remain elevated.
New Zealand has a ‘traffic light’ system to grade Covid warnings and currently the country sits on Orange.
Jacinda Ardern (centre) went without a mask for this photo – causing anger on social media
This means Kiwis must wear a mask in many indoor settings but otherwise are free to live their day to day lives while being encouraged ‘to protect vulnerable communities’.
The country could soon return to code red as NZ case numbers surge.
Previously under code red, Kiwis had to wear masks at universities and colleges and in schools from Year 4 up, and when visiting early learning centres.
Masks also had to be worn in public places like shops, shopping malls, cafes, bars, restaurants, libraries, hairdressers and beauty salons.
All indoors events and indoor gatherings needed to be masked up and coverings also must be worn on domestic flights, taxis, ride-sharing cars and public transport, plus healthcare, judicial, remand and aged care centres.
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