Jacinda Ardern's popularity has fallen to its lowest level since becoming Prime Minister
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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has seen her popularity fall to its lowest level since being elected.
The latest 1News poll has revealed that only 30 per cent of New Zealand voters view Ms Ardern as their preferred candidate, down from 33 per cent in May.
Ms Ardern’s labour party has also taken a hit, dropping to 33 per cent of the primary vote, with the National Party now leading with 37 per cent.
However, in some form of reprieve for Ms Ardern, her National’s opponent Chris Luxon is still significantly lower on the totem poll.
Mr Luxton received just 22 per cent of the poll as their preferred candidate.
The Prime Minister has pledged to tackle the cost of living crisis in the country, however, pointed the finger at global rather than domestic issues.
Last week, more than two million citizens were given $116 as part of a three-instalment cost of living plan that is available to those who earn below $70,000 and are not receiving the nation’s winter energy payment.
Meanwhile, Ms Ardern’s handling of the Covid-19 precautions has also caused a wave of criticism.
According to Daily Mail, many were outraged after the Prime Minister was pictured without a mask in a crowd of 100 - just days after asking New Zealanders to once again don the masks as a safety measure.
Ms Ardern believed the results reflected the tough times New Zealanders were facing.
She said (via The Telegraph): “There’s absolutely no doubt increases in inflation are hurting New Zealanders.”
She added: “But New Zealand has advantages as well. I do look to those causes of optimism – low unemployment, low relative debt, and the fact that we have our borders, tourism coming back. Those things will give a boost – a much-needed boost to us – going forward.”
On the other hand, Mr Luxton claimed the results indicated that citizens want new leadership.
He said: “Kiwis are over the government and they want change.
“I think they understand that this is a government that is not good with money and not good at managing the economy.”
He added: “When we don’t have our kids going to school regularly, we see a healthcare system falling apart with wait times blowing out, we see rising levels of crime, and we see housing that, actually, has been an abject failure for this government, they look at the sum of all those things.”
The next New Zealand election is still more than a year away, meaning Ms Ardern has time to bounce back.
Featured Image Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy. Sipa US / Alamy.