Newshub poll: Simon Bridges breaks 10 percent as preferred Prime Minister

The election is the most high-stakes popularity contest in New Zealand - and our latest Newshub-Reid Research poll shows who's in the lead.

Leader to leader, Jacinda Ardern's popularity as preferred Prime Minister is holding strong, up a tad on 38.7 percent.

But there's something new for National leader Simon Bridges - people actually getting behind him. He's up 3.9 percent to 10.6 percent. It's still dire but better - and his first time in double digits.

Newshub poll: Simon Bridges breaks 10 percent as preferred Prime Minister

But New Zealand has an MMP electoral system, meaning the leaders don't mean everything and the parties need friends to form coalitions.

On this poll the Greens are the big guns for Labour, putting the co-leaders in a strong bargaining position.

When asked if New Zealand could have co-deputy prime ministers, Ardern said it's "nothing I've ever given consideration to".

"That's entirely hypothetical," co-leader James Shaw told Newshub.

"We've gotta see what the voters decide and everything else is up for negotiation afterwards."

For National and Bridges, nothing can go to their heads. They're not quite Norman No-Mates but need more than just ACT.

"The National Party needs a coalition partner and ACT is in the box-seat to be that partner right now," ACT leader David Seymour told Newshub.

Winston Peters and NZ First also need to keep cool heads.

They're out on this poll but after the NZ First Foundation donation debacle, they've only lost a smidgen of support.

"The first rule of politics is you never write Winston off," Shaw told Newshub.

Actually, with numbers as tight as this - no one can be written off.

The Newshub-Reid Research poll was conducted between January 23 and February 1 with a sample size of 1000 eligible voters and a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.