Tova O'Brien: Poll won't roll Simon Bridges but that doesn't mean he's safe

OPINION: Under Simon Bridges' leadership National's support has hit rock bottom in a leaked poll.

The saving grace for Bridges is that although it's not a poll commissioned by Labour, it was done by Labour's pollsters UMR so it's easy for Bridges to rubbish - which he is - and he's blaming Labour for leaking "dodgy numbers".

For that reason it won't be the thing that topples his leadership but it also doesn't mean he's safe.

Twenty-nine percent is as bad as it gets for National.

When his MPs were looking to roll him last year anything under 40 percent was considered the danger zone and coup territory. The fact the party vote held strong was the only thing that saved him.

Trust the poll or not, it's all still relative, and it's the worst result National has in the UMR poll since 2003 just before then-leader Don Brash's infamous Orewa speech.

It will pile pressure on Bridges to release his party's own internal polling to his MPs. They've told us they haven't seen results - which they used to get regularly - since the beginning of February.

On these numbers a lot of National MPs lose their jobs and their seats. That will make them very anxious and agitated.

The caucus was already getting antsy in the last few weeks and was again, proactively contacting Newshub, raising the spectre of a coup.

In a death by a thousand cuts, even a small incision like this can be fatal.

Tova O'Brien is Newshub's political editor