Coronavirus: The Government's Covid-19 lockdown measures have overwhelming public support, according to a poll

New Zealanders overwhelmingly back the Government's strict lockdown measures, a new poll suggests.

A full 87 per cent of New Zealanders approve of how the Government is responding to the coronavirus pandemic, with only eight per cent disapproving.

The poll was conducted over April 20-21 by Colmar Brunton, after the Government announced the move to level 3 lockdown next week. 

Colmar Brunton pollster Edward Langley said New Zealand seemed to be seeing "something special" in the number of new Covid-19 cases each day.

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"People feel there's light there at the end of the tunnel which other nations haven't seen," he said.

"I think we are seeing something special. We are setting aside our party political affiliations and we're getting behind the Government," he said. 

Support for the Government's response has increased slightly. When the same question was asked over April 3-5, 84 per cent of respondents said they approved of the Government's actions.

Support is intensifying too, back then only 55 per cent of people strongly approved of the Government's actions, in the most recent poll that number is up to 68 per cent.

New Zealand is unusual compared with G7 countries, in terms of support for the Government's actions.

The G7 is a club of rich nations that includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Great Britain and the USA. On average, 50 per cent of respondents in those countries supported their Government's measures, down from 54 per cent two weeks ago.

But even Canada, the country with the highest level of support for the Government in the G7, is not as supportive as New Zealand.

There, 74 per cent of respondents supported their Government's actions, 13 percentage points fewer than the level polled here. 

In the US, support has dropped to 46 per cent, from 52 per cent. In France, support has plummeted to 43 per cent from 61 per cent. 

New Zealanders back Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's decisions over the lockdown.
KEVIN STENT
New Zealanders back Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's decisions over the lockdown.

Colmar Brunton also found Kiwis feel like the idea of backing the local economy when things start getting back to normal. 

A net 60 per cent of people said they were more likely to support New Zealand-owned businesses.

The same proportion of people surveyed said they would be more likely to support locally-owned businesses. 

The beleaguered tourism sector could be set for a boost when lockdown measures end: a net 44 per cent of respondents said they were more likely to take holidays in New Zealand.

Langley warned that this might not necessarily translate into actual holidays booked, however.

He described them as "Covid resolutions," which might not be followed through on.

The poll was conducted via 601 online interviews with New Zealanders over the age of 18 between April 20 and 21.

The margin of error was +/- 4.0 per cent. 

 

Stuff