Newshub-Reid Research poll: Jacinda Ardern confident poll reflects Govt's COVID-19 success - but tight-lipped on who could be Judith Collins' replacement

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is feeling confident following the results of the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll, with the Labour Government retaining a strong lead in the party vote.

On Sunday night, the results revealed that Opposition leader Judith Collins had plummeted down the preferred Prime Minister rankings, scraping just 5.6 percent compared to Ardern's 48.1 percent.

Collins, who dropped by a significant 12.8 margin, was ranked even below former Prime Minister Sir John Key, who amassed 6.7 percent - despite no longer working as a politician. National newcomer and former Air New Zealand CEO Christoper Luxon also sneaked into the preferred Prime Minister stakes, sitting on 2.4 percent. 

The dismal numbers have sparked talks about who could be Collins' replacement if National were to stage another leadership coup, in a similar vein to short-lived leader Todd Muller snatching the reins off Simon Bridges last year for a brief post-poll tenure.

Speaking to The AM Show on Monday morning, the Prime Minister remained tight-lipped on who she believed could be a possible replacement for Collins, saying it isn't a decision she wants to weigh in on. 

"I don't really get into the politics of the Opposition and who their leader is going to be," Ardern said.

"The questions asked around some of the substantive policy debate we've been having, yes, absolutely. But when I get asked the question as to who the leader should be, that's not for me, that's for them."

However, Ardern's popularity has also taken a turn for the worse. According to the results, 69.6 percent think the Prime Minister is performing well - but that's down by 9.4 points. And 18.2 percent of participants think she is performing poorly - an increase of six points from the last poll. Ardern's preferred Prime Minister ranking also took a small hit, sliding by 4.5 percent.

But Ardern remains confident in her party's standing, with Labour maintaining its majority stranglehold on Parliament with 52.7 percent - up 2.7 points on the election result.

"I'm here to be critiqued. That's what we're all here for. However, when we look at the support for the party and the Government, [it's] standing up really well. We're moving from a COVID response phase to a COVID recovery," she told The AM Show. 

"Things like the opening of the trans-Tasman bubble, the Cook Islands opening up this week, starting to roll out that plan for how we safely reconnect ourselves to the world - but at the same time, seeing that our strategy so far and economic response has kept unemployment low. I like to think the polls reflect that."

In the party vote, National polled at 27 percent, obtaining a small 1.4 increase. The Green Party is sitting at 7.1 percent - down 0.8 - and ACT is just below on 6.9 percent, down 0.7. The Māori Party remains the same on 1.2 percent.

The poll was conducted between May 7-13 with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.