NZ Election 2020: National's Judith Collins has crack at Simon Bridges for contradicting her on TV over internal polling

Judith Collins has had a crack at her colleagues and former leader Simon Bridges after he directly contradicted her on The AM Show, saying National MPs haven't seen internal polling for over a month. 

Collins had told Newshub on Thursday that candidates were getting regular polling updates, but she's still keeping the numbers secret. 

Collins was campaigning in Blenheim on Friday, where she recieved a standing ovation and gleefully signed copies of her book Pull No Punches

The Kaikōura electorate is about as blue as it gets - the best tonic to combat the campaign blues.

"It's absolutely game on," Collins said. 

But she's saving a stiff drink until after polling day, sticking to non-alcoholic southern delicacies and keeping her wits about her - and she needs to. Her MPs are spilling. They haven't seen the internal polls. 

Former National leader Simon Bridges told The AM Show on Friday morning he hadn't seen internal polling since MPs were back in Wellington. 

"I haven't since Parliament," Bridges said. 

But hang on, that's not what Collins told Newshub the day before. 

"Well actually, caucus matters are a matter for caucus, and also all of our candidates get an update on how we're polling," she said on Thursday. 

Newshub asked Collins on Friday to explain.

"People have a candidates call in the morning," she said. 

Internal polling is a political party's key barometer of success or failure. You don't show your MPs if you're losing. Bridges got a lot of grief for keeping them secret when his numbers nosedived. 

When asked to respond to Bridges' comments on The AM Show, Collins said: "I don't know what he said there but I would say to him, 'get on the campaign calls like all the other candidates'."

Collins burning Bridges - but it backfired, when Collins was asked if MPs are getting the actual polling numbers on those calls and not just the candidate updates. 

"Do you know what? I'm not actually on the candidates calls and that's because I'm focused on the economy," she said. 

Collins is determined to get back on message, taking a crack at Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for ignoring advice from the Electoral Commission to delay the election until November 21. 

"Well, it's funny that Ms Ardern takes the advice of officials when it suits her and not when it doesn't," Collins said. 

The advice was unearthed in a COVID-19-related document dump on Friday. 

"She's chosen the advice that obviously works for her," Collins said. 

Ardern said she sat down and met with the Electoral Commission about the date. 

"They then came back and revised some of their advice suggesting that the date that we have now was feasable," she said on Friday. 

When asked if it has disadvantaged the National Party having the election on October 17, Collins said: "Well, I think it possibly has."

It's too late now, anyway - in precisely one week's time, the campaign ends, and Election Day is a campaign-free zone. 

"I may even be putting my feet up and possibly doing the washing," Collins said. 

It's hardly the ultimate reward for a gruelling campaign. The ultimate reward is winning.