Newshub-Reid Research Poll: Voters trust Jacinda Ardern far more than Judith Collins

Judith Collins has accused the Prime Minister of knowing about Iain Lees-Galloway's affair with a former staffer despite Jacinda Ardern clearly saying she did not - but Collins may have trouble convincing the public. 

Newshub can reveal that voters do not trust Collins, and our latest Newshub-Reid Research Poll shows she's also on the wrong side of public opinion when it comes to whether or not politicians should ever lie. 

Voters were asked if they trust Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and an overwhelming 79.4 percent said "yes" while just 17 percent said "no", and few didn't know. 

Collins, on the other hand, had just 30.8 percent say they trust her while 49.7 percent say they do not trust her, and for 19.6 percent of voters the jury's still out. 

Collins on Monday suggested it's Ardern who is untrustworthy over her handling of Lees-Galloway who she sacked last Wednesday after revealing he had been having an affair with an official who used to work for him. 

The Prime Minister insisted last week that she didn't know what was going on behind closed doors. 

"I was not aware of those rumours and allegations," she said at the time. 

The Prime Minister knifed him but Collins thinks there's more to the Lees-Galloway affair than meets the eye. 

"I think the Prime Minister should front up with why she's saying that he abused his office," she told Newshub. 

Going even further on Magic Talk on Monday morning, she suggested the Prime Minister knew all along despite Ardern's assurances otherwise. 

"I didn't know anything about it. I think she probably did," Collins said. 

Collins wouldn't go far as to say the Prime Minister lied. 

Ardern, when asked by Newshub if it's ever okay for a politician to lie, said, "No."

But Collins takes a different view on lying. 

When asked the same question, Collins said, "I think it is occasionally going to be one of those things where you just can't tell everything about something." 

She's totally out of step with voters on this in the latest Newshub-Reid Research Poll. 

Voters were asked if it's ever okay for politicians to lie, and 86.3 percent said "no" while just 9.9 percent said "yes". 

And Collins' own voters echo that - 85.4 percent don't want lying politicians. 

Collins believes there are some situations where it's okay. 

"We certainly have situations that we've seen over the years where sometimes we just have to hold back until the time is right," she told Newshub.  

The National Party leader "absolutely believes" the country trusts her. 

But the latest poll suggests otherwise. 

Ardern, when asked why she thinks Kiwis trust her more than Collins, said it's a question for them. 

"That would be a question for New Zealanders rather than asking me."

The upshot is they do - and trust goes a long way in politics. 

Analysis by Political Editor Tova O'Brien

Trust can win or lose elections and right now trust and public confidence in Ardern is at an all-time high. It's a brand she's cultivated but it's also thanks to her handling of the COVID-19 health response.  

It's not all bad news for Collins - those one in five people polled who didn't know if they trusted her means there's room to build trust. 

But these insinuations about the Prime Minister, and the constant lashing out at accurate scientific polling rather than recognising that National is broken and in need of repair... That doesn't engender trust. 

What her party needs from her right now is convalescence not chaos.