Tova O'Brien: Simon Bridges' trifecta from hell

OPINION: This is a trifecta from hell for Simon Bridges:

  1. National has plunged under his leadership;
  2. Voters don't want him as Prime Minister, and;
  3. Judith Collins has overtaken him in the preferred Prime Minister stakes.

And it just gets worse - Newshub's Reid Research Poll also asks voters how they think leaders are performing.

Just 21.9 percent of people think Simon Bridges is performing well - more than twice as many think he's performing poorly (50.8 percent). The rest don't know.

By way of context 68.3 percent of voters think Jacinda Ardern's performing well, while just 16.8 percent think she's performing poorly.

Tova O'Brien: Simon Bridges' trifecta from hell
Photo credit: Newshub.

To find a Leader of the Opposition doing this badly, you have to track back through our poll archives to 2010. Only Phil Goff did as badly as Bridges, with his abysmal Preferred PM rating of 5.1 percent.

That means even the disastrous duo of Davids - David Shearer and David Cunliffe - were given a greater vote of confidence than Bridges. That's really saying something.

At the end of last year, Bridges' own MPs were talking to Newshub on background about the likelihood of the leader being rolled.

It seemed there were only two things holding them back:

  1. Strong poll numbers for National;
  2. Not wanting it to look like Jami-Lee Ross derailed him.

Those safety nets have gone.

The latest Newshub-Reid Research Poll is the most accurate political poll - our poll numbers were the closest to the election result - and the numbers are weakening for National.

And although Ross will make a splash with his return to Parliament on Tuesday, he's fast disappearing into the irrelevant political oblivion that is life as independent MP on the backbenches.

There's one lifeline left, however. The Nats are very conscious that leadership changes can be extremely damaging for a party, and things can spiral out of control very quickly (see the Labour Party circa 2008-2017).

That's hardly a resounding vote of confidence in Simon Bridges' leadership.

His ousting is starting to look like a case of when, not if.

Tova O'Brien is Newshub's Political Editor