Judith Collins has soared in the preferred Prime Minister rankings since taking over as National leader - but her party is languishing at just 32% in today's 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll.
After weeks of political scandal, resignations and leadership changes, National dropped 6% compared to the last poll in June.
"For the last couple of weeks I think you can see we've had to deal with some big issues," Ms Collins said. "People want those things sorted. They've now seen those sorted and it's only onwards and upwards."
Labour, not without its own political drama, rose 3% to 53% support.
"It is pleasing to see that there is ongoing support for New Zealanders, for the Government’s response to Covid-19 and the recovery," Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said.
That would give Labour 67 seats if repeated at the election – enough to govern alone.
Ms Collins scored 20% as preferred Prime Minister, well ahead of what her predecessors Todd Muller and Simon Bridges received in previous polls, but still well below Labour leader Jacinda Ardern, who remains steady at 54%.
The ACT party has made another rise, up to 4.8% support after reaching 3.1% in June’s poll. The Green Party received 5%, which would see them scrape into Parliament if repeated at the September 19 election, but New Zealand First remains in jeopardy at just 2%.
The latest poll results would see ACT boost its MP allocation from one to six, assuming it wins an electorate seat.
Labour Party - 53% (up 3%)
National Party - 32% (down 6%)
Green Party - 5% (down 1%)
ACT - 4.8% (up 1.7%)
New Zealand First - 2% (up 0.2%)
New Conservative - 1.2%
Māori Party - 1%
Don’t Know/Refused - 14%
Parliamentary seat entitlement
- Labour Party 67
- National Party 41
- Green Party 6
- ACT Party 6
Currently, National has 56 seats, Labour has 46, NZ First has nine, the Greens have eight and ACT has one.
Preferred Prime Minister
- Jacinda Ardern: 54% (steady)
- Judith Collins: 20% (up 18%)
- Winston Peters: 1% (down 1%)
- David Seymour: 1% (up 0.2%)
Ms Collins took over as leader of National on July 14, following the resignation of Mr Muller who quit 53 days after rolling Mr Bridges.
The last time a National leader received support at the level Ms Collins recorded today was Sir Bill English in February 2018, two weeks before he resigned as Opposition leader.
Simon Bridges’ highest result was 12% in May 2018. Todd Muller jumped from 0.2% in the May poll up to 13% before he resigned.
ACT leader David Seymour also made an appearance in the latest poll at 1%.
Judith Collins’ approval rating
The 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll also asked voters if they approved or disapproved of the way Ms Collins was handling her job as leader of the National Party.
Just over two weeks into the job, Ms Collins scored an approval rating of +27.
A total of 56% of people approved, 23% disapproved and 26% did not know or refused to answer.
Ms Collins’ approval rating outscored Mr Muller’s (+10, June 2020) and Mr Bridges (-40, May 2020) during their time as leader.
Ms Ardern's approval rating for how she was handling her job as Prime Minister was +76 when last polled in May 2020 at the end of the lockdown period, that was up from +33 in October 2019.
The groups of people who are more likely than average to approve of how Ms Collins is handling her job are National Party supporters, ACT Party supporters, those with an annual household income of more than $150,000, men aged 55 and over and New Zealand Europeans.
Those who are more likely than average to disapprove are Labour Party supporters and Māori.
Today’s poll comes after political scandals have rocked Parliament, including a Covid-19 patient privacy breach that saw National MP Hamish Walker quit in disgrace. Another National MP, Andrew Falloon, then resigned amid allegations of sending explicit material to five women. And two days later, former Labour Government Minister Iain Lees-Galloway was stripped of his portfolio after having an “inappropriate relationship” with a junior staffer.
Read May’s poll here
Read June’s poll here
Between July 25 to 29, 2020, 1004 eligible voters were polled by landline (403) and mobile phone (601). The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level. Results higher and lower than 50% have a smaller sampling error
The data has been weighted to align with Stats NZ population counts for age, gender, region, ethnic identification and mobile or landline access.