Judith Collins makes surprising appearance in preferred Prime Minister poll

Prime Minister Judith Collins - how do those four words strung together make you feel? For 3.7 percent of New Zealanders, it feels pretty good.

Because for the first time ever, Ms Collins has registered in our Newshub-Reid Research poll as a candidate for preferred Prime Minister.

If those four words made you shudder, fret not - Jacinda Ardern is still ranking stratospherically on 40.2 percent.

However, Ms Collins is ranking higher than Ms Ardern did when she first appeared as a preferred Prime Minister in 2015. Back then, Ms Ardern debuted at 3.5 percent.

Ms Collins insists she no longer harbours her extreme leadership ambitions of the past, and is "very happy doing what I'm doing and I'm very supportive of our leader Simon Bridges".

"I'm not interested in rolling anyone or doing anything other than my job," says Ms Collins.

But this is dire news for the actual leader of the National Party, Simon Bridges - his preferred Prime Minister ranking is just 9 percent.

That pales next to John Key and Bill English when they first took over as National leaders. Mr Key was on 24 percent and Mr English on 25 percent.

Mr Bridges says he isn't fazed, telling Newshub "it's early days - I'm just starting to get out and about".

He is saved by the fact his party remains steady. If that starts to fall, he's in trouble.