Poll: Judith Collins outstrips Simon Bridges as preferred Prime Minister

Simon Bridges is hemorrhaging support, his personal popularity at an all time low in the Newshub Reid Research poll.

Ardern's popularity has gone stratospheric, up 7.2 percent to 49 percent as preferred Prime Minister. 

Simon Bridges continues to tumble down to a meagre 4.2 percent.

But the twist of the knife is Judith Collins, who is up 0.9 percent to 7.1 percent - outstripping Bridges.

Ardern's popularity has reached new heights.
Ardern's popularity has reached new heights. Photo credit: Newshub.

When Newshub asked Bridges why voters don't like him, he pulled out the sport analogies: "I think it's like a rugby team, you need much more than a star player."

But the captain's struggling to get a grip, crashing his team - National - to its lowest result since 2005.

Bridges says he's not thinking about stepping aside: "There's no need for that, National is the best team."

The Government's own goals should have helped National - Kiwibuild's a flop; axing the capital gains tax was a disappointment for labour die-hards; the teachers' strikes; and Treasury's budget breach.

The Prime Minister says: "No one expects perfection from their politicians or the government but they do expect progress."

Labour's had a poll bump from the Budget and from the Prime Minister's big international moments like the Christchurch Call in Paris and the tragedy at home that spurred it.

Ardern says she's not resting on her laurels.

"I'm never complacent. I never make assumptions about what might happen on election night."

Bridges is in denial about the poll results, telling Newshub repeatedly: "What I'm seeing is very different" and "I'm hearing very different things than TV3 and the Newshub poll."

Voters also don't rate his performance.

Just 17.4 percent of people think Simon Bridges is performing well, and 56 percent think he's performing poorly.

Ardern is a different story. 72.5 percent think she's performing well, her highest rating yet, and just 15.6 percent think she's performing poorly.

Ardern is seen to be performing well as PM.
Ardern is seen to be performing well as PM. Photo credit: Newshub.

MPs have already agitated against Bridges' leadership behind the scenes this year. Some of his MPs were doing the numbers for Judith Collins and there's talk that Paula Bennett could throw her hat in the ring if Collins makes a play.

National MPs are worried that ousting Bridges could start a damaging revolving door of leaders, which is what happened with Labour in opposition. However, there's no doubt Bridges is under fire - and could soon be toast .

The poll was conducted between 29 May and 7 June with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.