Simon Bridges is safe as National's leader for now despite Judith Collins rating better than him as referred prime minister, 1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch McKay says.
A new 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll yesterday showed National are back in front, while Labour took a sharp dive. The results show there was no "Budget bounce" for the Government, with the Budget leak saga proving a distraction.
The parties still sit close, however with the National Party on 44 per cent, rising four per cent since 1 NEWS' last poll in April. Labour dropped by a significant six per cent, down to 42 per cent.
The polls are sure to be a hot topic at tomorrow's National Party caucus meeting Mutch McKay says.
"Even though it was good news for the National Party … the popularity of the National leader is not so good. So for Simon Bridges he’s sitting on 5 per cent (as preferred prime minister)," Mutch McKay says.
"To add salt to the wound his colleague Judith Collins is sitting on six. Right alongside him on his shoulder is Winston Peters, so not ideal number for Simon Bridges there.
"What’s shielding him from any attacks for now at least is that big 44 number. In our numbers National has gone ahead of Labour (in the party vote) and that’s giving him a bit of a protective barrier.
"We’ve always said, and MPs have said, if they drop below that 40 mark, that's when it gets to be dangerous territory for him.
"But that boost has come into play and that’s because of the Budget stuff, how the leak played out last week – he got a lot of attention and a lot of air time – and it made the Government look bad."