Newshub-Reid Research poll: Significant drop in public opinion of both Jacinda Ardern's and Judith Collins' performance

The latest Newshub-Reid Research data has revealed public opinion of both Judith Collins' and Jacinda Ardern's performance is crumbling.

A total 69.6 percent think Prime Minister Ardern is performing well, down 9.4 points. And 18.2 percent of those polled think she is performing poorly, an increase of six points from the last poll.

But things are far worse for Collins. Opinion on the National leader's performance has plummeted - just 28.2 percent think she's performing well, down a whopping 15 points since October 2020. Almost half of those polled (47.1 percent) thought Collins performed poorly, an increase of 10.2 points.

Newshub political editor Tova O'Brien told The AM Show on Monday it's bad news for Collins, whose recent comments have caused "unease" in the National Party.

"There's unease in the caucus around the rhetoric we've been hearing around race relations from Collins - that last ditch desperate attempt hasn't worked for her in the numbers, that has agitated MPs who were already a little uneasy."

O'Brien is referring to comments made by Collins in recent weeks accusing Labour of introducing separatism by stealth through the creation of a Māori health agency.

When it comes to preferred Prime Ministers, it's more bad news for Collins. Although Ardern has dipped slightly to 48.1 percent - a decrease of 4.5 points, Collins has dropped like a stone to 5.6 percent - a fall of 12.8 percentage points.

Even former Prime Minister John Key - who has not been active in politics since 2016 - is preferable to Collins. He came in at 6.7 percent.

Newcomer Christoper Luxon is climbing too - he's at 2.4 percent. 

But O'Brien says he won't roll Collins - yet.

"Luxon is not ready to [become leader] - but he might be, come next year. June, July next year - National doesn't want to see what happened last year."

A year ago, former National leader Simon Bridges was rolled in a coup and Todd Muller took over. But when his mental health suffered in the role, Muller resigned after just 53 days - leaving Collins to step in mere weeks before the election. 

O'Brien says Collins is a placeholder.

"The thing that probably saves her is they just want this caretaker person in there because they want to give Luxon enough of a runway into 2023."