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Hipkins most preferred as new Prime Minister

21 Jan 23

Credit: Newshub
Hipkins most preferred as new Prime Minister
Chris Hipkins most preferred

Chris Hipkins is the runaway favourite among New Zealanders to become the country’s next Prime Minister.

A snap Horizon Research poll conducted overnight between 4.30pm January 19 and 10am January 20, 2023, finds 26% of adults would prefer him to be PM, after the resignation of Jacinda Ardern.

Second most favoured is Kiri Allan with 13% support.

Third is Grant Robertson, who has said he will not seek the role, with 9%.

Nanaia Mahuta and Michael Wood each have 4% .

18% are unsure.

Labour MPs are due to vote on the leadership on Sunday January 22. A nominee must get at least 75% of caucus support, otherwise the election goes to the wider Labour Party.

The survey of 886 respondents, representing the New Zealand adult population, also finds a majority of New Zealanders give Jacinda Ardern a good to very good rating for her performance as Prime Minister.

Will the change increase or lessen Labour support?

The change at this stage is likely to result in a small drop in the number who could vote Labour at the October 14 general election: 9% say it will make them more likely to vote Labour, 14% less likely.

However, the choice of either Hipkins or Allan could affect this result significantly.

Some 13% overall say which party they vote for will depend on who the new Prime Minister of is. This rises to 15% of those favouring Hipkins and 16% of those favouring them as the new leader.

Chris Hipkins is more popular among 55+ year olds and Labour voters.

Kiri Allan is more preferred among Green voters, Māori and professionals.

Grant Robertson is more preferred among Labour voters.

27% of National voters are unsure, with 26% saying Chris Hipkins is their preferred PM.

Hipkins holds his lead over Allan across all age groups, with peak support for him at 33% among those aged 55 or older (34% compared with 9% for Allan among this group).

Hipkins is preferred more by those who voted for Act, Labour, and National at the 2020 general election, while both are even (27%) among those who voted for the Māori Party. Allan has more support than Hipkins among 2020 Green voters (33% to 27%).

Hipkins also holds a strong lead over Allan across all income groups, and among those in the lowest income households is he preferred by 31%, compared with 3% for Allan. Hipkins also has twice the support (32% versus 13%) among those in households with incomes of $200,000 or more than Allan.

Among Māori, Allen is preferred by 28% or Hipkins on 22%. Hipkins leads among all other ethnic groups measured.

How New Zealanders rate Ardern’s performance as PM

It is not clear if Ardern knew before she resigned that a majority of New Zealand adults rated her Prime Ministerial performance as good (15%) to very good (40%): total 55%.

(Numbers may not total 100% due to rounding)

Her resignation made 48% of adults feel sad (14% of them very sad.

It made 40% feel happy (20% very happy) while 11% said they were not sure.

12% said her performance was neither good nor bad, 16% said it was poor and 16% very poor: total poor rating of 32%.

Her unexpected announcement that she was resigning surprised a total of 46% - around 1.6 million adults.

54% were not surprised., with 33% saying they thought this might happen.

(Numbers may not total 100% due to rounding)

Her resignation made 48% of adults feel sad (14% of them very sad.

It made 40% feel happy (20% very happy) while 11% said they were not sure.


These are the results of Horizon’s Snap Poll on the resignation of Jacinda Ardern.

The survey was conducted online between 19-20 January 2023, using Horizon’s specialist research panels.

The sample of 886 respondents is weighted on age, gender, Party Vote 2020, education, ethnicity and employment to represent the New Zealand population aged 18 or more.

It has an overall margin of error of ± 3.3%.

The survey was conducted by Horizon in the public interest.

We believe better decisions are made when you are listened to.

You are welcome to join our HorizonPoll nationwide research panel


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