Politicians backing the polls that favour them

Author
Derek Cheng, NZ Herald,
Section
Politics,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 11 June 2019, 1:24PM
National Party leader Simon Bridges is downplaying concerns over his leadership. (Photo / File)
National Party leader Simon Bridges is downplaying concerns over his leadership. (Photo / File)

National Party leader Simon Bridges is shrugging of questions about his leadership and backing the political poll that has National ahead of Labour, not the one that has National well behind.

And National MP Judith Collins is downplaying polls showing she is more popular than Bridges in the preferred Prime Minister stakes, saying she is just doing her job and holding the Government to account.

Bridges' comments follow similar ones from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who said yesterday she thought the poll that had Labour ahead was more indicative of reality.

On Sunday, the 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll showed National on 44 per cent, ahead of Labour on 42 per cent.

The poll came out at the same time as the Newshub Reid Research poll, which had Labour streaks ahead on 50.8 per cent, while National had dived to 37.4 per cent.

In both polls, Collins was above Bridges in the preferred Prime Minister race. She was on 6 per cent to Bridges' 5 per cent in the 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll, and on 7 per cent to Bridges' 4 per cent in the Newshub Reid Research poll.

Ardern was well ahead of both of them for Prime Minister popularity.

Collins challenged for the leadership of the National Party in a race that Bridges won in February last year, but today she dismissed any suggestion that she would be a better leader.

Asked if she had leadership ambitions, she said "not really".

"It's a tough job and not really up to me, and my view is I just do whatever caucus asks me to do."

She said her relatively high profile may explain why her personal polling was higher than Bridges' personal polling.

"People know me well and they probably just like some of the work I've been doing on KiwiBuild."

She did not think Bridges was dragging down the National Party's popularity, nor did she think leadership would be discussed in today's caucus meeting.

Bridges said the polls were so starkly different and they couldn't both be right.

He said the 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll was similar to National's internal polling, without adding any details.

Asked about his low personal polling and whether he should still lead the party, he said he was "really comfortable in my leadership".

"I think it's great that we have fantastic members like Judith, like Paula, like others. It's that depth of team that is a bit part of why National is doing so well right now."

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