New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern trails rivals ahead of 2023 election

Ms Jacinda Ardern remains the most popular leader, with 30 per cent support versus 21 per cent for National's Christopher Luxon. PHOTO: REUTERS

AUCKLAND - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has a fight on her hands to win a third term, with a poll showing she is narrowly trailing her opponents roughly a year out from the next election.

Support for Ms Ardern's Labour Party rose one percentage point to 34 per cent in a 1News/Kantar poll published Tuesday in Wellington, while the main opposition National Party was unchanged on 37 per cent.

National's ally the ACT Party had 9 per cent support, as did Ms Ardern's partner the Green Party, while 13 per cent of respondents were undecided or refused to answer.

If the results were replicated at the election, due late next year, National could form a government with ACT.

But Ms Ardern remains the most popular leader, with 30 per cent support versus 21 per cent for National's Christopher Luxon, suggesting a tight contest.

The poll also asked people whether it is time for New Zealand to ditch the British monarch as head of state and become a republic. 1News said only 27 per cent of respondents said yes and 50 per cent said no.

The survey of 1,001 eligible voters was conducted Sept 17-21 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points. BLOOMBERG

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