Election 2020 final leaders’ debate: Jacinda Ardern v Judith Collins

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and National leader Judith Collins are in the final leaders’ debate of the 2020 election, from 7pm tonight.

Follow live updates here or scroll below to read more.

The TVNZ debate is being moderated by Jessica Mutch McKay and lasts for an hour, in front of a live studio audience.

On the poll

To start the debate rolling, Ardern is asked about tonight’s poll – will Labour be transformational if it gets back in Government?

“I believe we have been,” Ardern responds, saying lasting changes on issues such as climate change require consensus, and pointing to child poverty as an area she says real progress is being made.

“I am not done yet.”

Collins is asked about the poll numbers for National – 31 per cent. She says about 15 per cent of people are undecided, and a good number will make up their mind on election day.

The National leader says the economy will be front of mind for voters.

“There will be a lot of people who will want to say – yes, we want to come and vote National.”

Asked if National should have stuck with Simon Bridges as leader, Collins said internal polling was in the mid 20s at that point.

Collins says National’s path to power centres on the undecided voters, and to bring people back from the minor parties.

She said people voting New Conservative or NZ First could have their vote wasted, and if those people didn’t want a Labour Government they should vote National.

There was still confusion about MMP, Collins said.

Ardern said Labour’s message was clear, and the polls showed “people are looking for stability… for unity.”

On the large numbers voting early, Collins said a lot of National voters would vote on election day. She hoped early voters don’t get “buyer’s remorse”.

Ardern said a lot of people were over the election campaign, and had their minds on the future.

She said “undecided” voters in the poll could be people who have already voted, and didn’t want to say who they’d supported.

Tonight's poll results

In the latest 1 News Colmar Brunton poll tonight, it was the minor parties that benefited, picking up points from both major parties.

Labour is on 46 per cent, down 1 percentage point, while National is on 31 per cent, also down 1. Labour would need the support of the Greens to govern, based on those numbers.

Act is steady on 8 per cent, the Greens up two points to 8 per cent, and NZ First up two points to 3 per cent.

The New Conservative Party is on 2 per cent, and TOP, Advance NZ and the Māori Party are all on 1 per cent.

The poll showed 15 per cent were still either undecided with two days to go.

The poll was held between October 10 and 14 and had 1005 repsondents, with a margin of error of 3.1 per cent.

Tonight’s debate is particularly important for Collins, who is desperate to grow her party’s vote before election day on Saturday.

Both leaders have been on the road for the better part of a month, and are now in the final straight.

Many viewers of tonight’s debate will have already cast an early vote. As of 2pm today, more than 1.56 million people had voted.

Rate the debate

Viewers can share how they feel about the leaders’ argumentsin tonight’s debate with the Herald’s “Rate the Debate” interactive.

Use the sliders on the interactive in this article to change your rating for either leader at any time. We’ll save all the ratings and will be calculating, in real time, average ratings based on the total submissions from the Herald audience.

You can also share your ratings with your friends – click on the share button and we will generate an image of your ratings, which can then be posted on social media.

When you first see the Rate the Leaders interactive, each leader’s rating has been assigned randomly.

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