National Party leader Judith Collins says it is normal for the opposition leader to take a fall in ratings after an election. Photo / Mark Mitchell
National leader Judith Collins has hit back following a damning political poll, saying she was getting positive feedback over National holding the Government to account on its “radical interpretations”.
National leader Judith Collins told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB that she didn’t believe the numbers in the poll and that it contradicted positive feedback she was getting.
The Newshub-Reid Research poll comes after weeks of National accusing the Government of having a “separatism by stealth” agenda.
She said it was also the first poll to be run since the election “so it was normal for the Opposition leader to take a fall months after an election”.
“And we are just getting going on things – getting focused on the things that matter.”
Anecdotally people were telling her they thought National was doing the right thing and standing up to the Government, particularly on their “secret agenda and the radical interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi”, she said.
She also pointed to an increase in the number of people attending regional National Party meetings and said they “really liked the fact that we are holding the Government to account”.
Collins was pleased to see there was a “little bit” of an increase in support for the National Party.
People were coming up to her and saying please make sure you stay, she said.
“I am safe.”
Her comments come after the poll showed Labour at 52.7 per cent (up 2.7 percentage points from election night), and National at 27 per cent (up 1.4 percentage points).
In the preferred PM stakes, Jacinda Ardern polled at 48.1 per cent (down 4.5 percentage points), while Collins was at 5.6 per cent (down 12.8 percentage points).
Former PM John Key was higher than Collins on 6.7 per cent, while backbench MP Christopher Luxon was on 2.4 per cent.
The latest numbers mean that Labour could govern alone comfortably.
In response to support for her slipping in the poll, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told the AM show she was “here to be critiqued”.
However, she said support for the party and the government was “standing up really well”.
“And I think that is an acknowledgement of moving from a Covid response phase to a Covid recovery.”
The opening of the bubble with Australia last month and the Cook Islands this week was a way of New Zealand starting to safely reconnect with the world, she said.
“But at the same time seeing our strategy this far and our economic response has kept unemployment low – I would like to think the polls reflect that.”
Ardern said the arrangements New Zealand had in responding to Covid were “really unique” compared to anywhere in the world.
The Newshub-Reid Research poll is its first of the year, and follows a One News Colmar Brunton poll in March that had Labour on 49 per cent, National on 27 per cent, the Greens on 9 per cent and Act on 8 per cent.
This was a slightly narrower gap between the major parties than on election night in 2020, when Labour won 50 per cent of the vote and National won 25.6 per cent.