Patrick Gower praises Christopher Luxon's 'smooth' transition to National leader, says he looks more ready than John Key was

Christopher Luxon is being praised for his "smooth" transition into leading the National Party, with Patrick Gower saying he's doing better than John Key did. 

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll shows Luxon is gaining momentum securing 17.8 percent as preferred Prime Minister - not a bad show for his first poll as leader. But Ardern is still ahead sitting on 43.3 percent

Luxon's result has garnered praise from Newshub National Correspondent Patrick Gower.

Gower, who was Newshub's political editor from 2012 to 2018, told AM Luxon has had a fantastic start. 

"I haven't seen an opposition leader make such a smooth start to the job as Christopher Luxon. He is miles ahead of where John Key was. I was covering him [Key] at this very point and he was geeky, people were suspicious of him, he did not look ready," Gower said on Tuesday. 

"Luxon looks much better and if you saw Jenna [Lynch's] report last night he [Luxon] was rowing a waka into Takapuna beach towing a little old lady. Could you get anything more symbolic for what the National Party needs to do?"

When you compare Luxon's first Preferred Prime Minister poll as leader with Judith Collins' first back in late 2020 - 14.6 percent - and Simon Bridges' 9 percent, he looks pretty good.

But he's still behind Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and former Prime Minister Sir John Key's first results. 

When Ardern took over as Labour leader, her preferred Prime Minister result was 26.3 percent, while Key debuted on 24 percent. 

Luxon seems confident telling Newshub people will get to know him over the next year. 

"I'm new to Parliament, I'm the new leader - it's a big job interview, I guess, for the next year-and-a-half before the election and people will get to know me over time," he said. 

The Newshub-Reid Research poll was conducted between 22 January – 4 February 2022 with a margin of error of 3.1 percent.