David Cunliffe's problems with the trust he used to hide donations has turned off voters.
In the latest 3 News-Reid Research poll, when asked if his actions were worthy of a Prime Minister, 65 percent of voters, almost two-thirds, said "no", while only 27 percent said "yes".
The opposition is still happy to push the issue.
"We still don't know who is behind that secret trust, and for a lot of New Zealanders we are saying that doesn't cut the mustard when you want to be Prime Minister," says Prime Minister John Key.
Mr Key sits on 42.6 percent as preferred Prime Minister, while Mr Cunliffe has dropped to 9 percent.
He's been under attack by National as "tricky", and on the honesty question 45 percent of voters say Mr Key is "more honest than most politicians".
But just 26 percent think Mr Cunliffe is more honest than most.
That 26 percent is the lowest result ever for a Labour leader since the question started being asked regularly in 2005 during Helen Clark's reign.
"There's only one way through this for David Cunliffe. If he is going to win the trust of New Zealanders back he is going to have to reveal who those secret donors are," says Mr Key.
Both leaders have been tested recently: Mr Key with the Oravida scandal, Mr Cunliffe misleading on the baby bonus and misfiring when attacking Mr Key's house. Sixty-four point nine percent say Mr Key is "performing well" - up 6.6 percent, while 30.3 percent reckon Mr Cunliffe is doing well - that's down 9.3 percent.
And at 25.6 percent, fewer think Mr Key is doing a poor job, yet 45.6 percent say Mr Cunliffe is doing poorly, up 16 percent.
In the head-to-head with Mr Key the poll numbers show the Labour leader is struggling. The trust issue has clearly done some damage. And given he was starting from behind, that is the last thing Mr Cunliffe needed.
source: newshub archive