Leave EU’s vow to cause ‘mayhem’ in New Zealand failing as Jacinda Ardern on track for election victory

PUBLISHED: 11:40 27 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:05 27 July 2020

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends a press conference. (Photo by Diego OPATOWSKI / AFP)

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends a press conference. (Photo by Diego OPATOWSKI / AFP)

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Leave EU’s attempts to meddle in this year’s New Zealand election faces an uphill challenge after new polling revealed Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party has received its strongest support yet.

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It is reported that Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore from Leave.EU are assisting New Zealand’s First Party in the September elections, with Wigmore vowing that the group will cause “mischief and mayhem”.

Banks told newspapers that he is advising Winston Peters’ New Zealand party on its social media campaign, hoping to increase Peters’ share of power in parliament to approximately 12% of support to help dethrone Ardern should she require the support of a coalition again.

He has admitted tp signing a contract with Peters, telling the country’s Newshub last week: “There’s a contract in place where we’re hired to do the social media and give a bit of advice and it’s just a plain vanilla commercial deal.

“We’re not donating money, we’re just offering advice. I haven’t donated money to any New Zealand entity and nor would I”.

Brexit campaign donor and businessman Arron Banks (CR) and Leave.EU campaigner Andy Wigmore (CL) take a selfie photograph with members of the media in the background as they leave Portcullis House after giving evidence to Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee. (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)Brexit campaign donor and businessman Arron Banks (CR) and Leave.EU campaigner Andy Wigmore (CL) take a selfie photograph with members of the media in the background as they leave Portcullis House after giving evidence to Parliament's Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee. (DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Portraying her as “Jacinderella and the Ugly Sisters”, he told the publication: “Jacinda is very popular but her party’s very unpopular.”

But in a contradiction of this a new poll shows Labour is looking at its strongest result on record - with Peters looking at just 2% of support.

The polling shows Ardern’s party has chartered 61% of the country’s backing - and if the Newshub-Reid poll is replicated at the ballot box on 19 September the party would be able to govern alone with a sizeable majority.

At present she leads a coalition government with Peters’ party on the right and the Greens on the left.


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She would be the first leader to govern with a clear majority since Jim Bolger in 1990.

“When it comes to the trends, we’ve seen a strong indication of support for what I would say is most likely to be the government’s response to Covid and the recovery plan,” Ardern told Radio NZ.

MORE: Why Arron Banks’ plan to target Jacinda Ardern is not going to plan

MORE: Arron Banks shown-up as another hypocritical Brexiteer

“I’m never complacent. I’m equally sceptical about the (polls) that are high as the ones that are low,” she added.

“We have seen high support for the government ... but these are pretty extraordinary times. We’ll be working very, very hard to earn the trust of New Zealanders.”

Last month Peters denied reports that he was working with Arron Banks and Leave.EU.

“Not only have I not hired such a crew but it is impossible to see how they would even gain entry into the country,” he said in a statement.

He added the party would make no further comment on “this rubbish”.

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