Tova O'Brien: Be it this year or next, all signs point to curtains for National leader Judith Collins

OPINION: It's now hammer time for the National Party. 

All those plotting National MPs who have been asking me when our next poll is to help them decide whether to make a move this year or not, now have their answer. 

The numbers are in and they simply don't add up for National or Judith Collins. 

Collins is on borrowed time. She's failed to shift the dial, failed to capitalise on the Government's all-over-the-shop-ness, failed to focus, and critically, failed to unite her motley caucus. 

Some National MPs want the bloodletting over and done by Christmas - go into the silly season with people gossiping over the barbeque about National at least having a plan for the future and then start the new year afresh. 

Others want to wait until early next year, worried that people are frankly over politics, over the pandemic; the Government's a mess so why make themselves look even messier?

There isn't consensus yet about the best approach but there is, I'm told, a majority of National MPs with an appetite for leadership change. Yet another numeric equation working against Collins. 

On its own, National on 26.9 percent isn't enough to force a coup right now but National MPs are also keenly looking at ACT's numbers and David Seymour doubling his MPs on 16 percent could be impetus for change this year. 

Barring Seymour and perhaps too generously, his deputy, his caucus of 10 has failed to fire. 

His party's popularity is down to two things - King David's competence and hard work and National's incompetence and self-destruction. 

Before our poll the thinking in National was, if they decide they're ready to roll this year the coup would happen sometime in the two-week sitting block in December. 

But that was before ACT whipped them in the powerful court of public opinion. 

The Parliament is sitting this week. It's hackneyed to say a week is a long time in politics but this coming week will be one of the longest in Judith Collins' lengthy political career. 

Regardless, be it this year or next, all signs point to curtains for Collins. 

The Newshub-Reid Research poll was conducted between 10-17 November with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.