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Kate Hawkesby: Nats must be thinking about pulling pin on Bridges

Kate Hawkesby ,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 19 February 2019, 7:07a.m.
National and Simon Bridges are trending down, no doubt about it.


Another poll, another bad day for Simon Bridges.

I said exactly these words about a week ago, but got poo pooed for speaking too soon, for citing just one poll, for jumping the gun.

Well now we have poll number two, and it's the same.

So can we now call this a trend? I'd say so.

National and Simon Bridges are trending down, no doubt about it.

Yes it's hard being in opposition, and yes as Bridges says, "polls do jump around".
But we now have two in a row, showing similar results.

Last night's 1 News-Colmar Brunton poll has National down four points to 42 per cent, while Labour's up two to 45.

The Greens up one to 6 per cent, NZ First down one to 3 per cent.

What does that mean if an election were held tomorrow? It means Labour and the Greens could comfortably govern alone. Bye bye Winston.

Well according to 1 News Political Editor Jessica Mutch McKay, Bridges is now in the "leadership danger zone", she said it's only the party vote that's giving him a lifeline at the moment.

She claims there's "low-level office chat" around whether he can continue as leader.
I think she's being generous when she says 'low-level'. I'd say it'd be pretty high level by now.

National don't want to risk looking like Labour did and bouncing round a rollercoaster of leaders too many times, but there surely must be a plan B in the works by now if Bridges keeps trending down. They must be starting to put a date around when to pull the pin. There must be rumblings around who will step in.

Which leads me to Judith Collins.

In Newshub's Reid Research poll last week she had jumped in the preferred PM stakes to 6.2%. They had Simon Bridges on 5.

In last night; 1 News poll Collins and Bridges are neck in neck - both on 6 per cent as preferred Prime Minister. Since its last poll, it's a drop for Bridges of one point, Collins remains steady.

But as I said last time, I don't think Judith Collins is the answer.

I don't know who is, but I hope National has a decent idea. At least they have an idea by now about what doesn't work.

And despite his continual claims that he's confident and comfortable in his leadership, I'm not sure even Bridges believes that anymore.

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