Claire Trevett: Covid lockdown poll slump a warning to PM that patience is wearing thin; and things get worse for Judith Collins

OPINION:

National Party leader Judith Collins has plummeted so far in the polling she may soon need a scuba tank, but the person who should be most worried by the latest poll is Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The 1News Colmar Brunton poll showed both National and Labour had taken a blow since the last poll in May – and as preferred prime minister, Judith Collins had dropped to a mere five cent.

But Labour has now dropped in consecutive polls and is down from 49 per cent in March to 43 per cent in the poll taken over the lockdown period. Ardern too had dropped as preferred PM to 44 per cent.

The reason the results should worry Ardern because the drop has come in a poll taken during the Delta outbreak lockdown. The 2020 lockdowns rewarded Ardern handsomely – sending Labour rocketing in the polls.

The drop this time indicates people are losing their patience with the measures they are being asked to take – and blaming the Government for it. The mood is turning.

It is a message to Ardern to rattle her dags to deliver on a way out of it, and mop up long-standing messes such as MIQ.

That message is reinforced by the results for Act. The only winners in the poll were the Act Party’s David Seymour, and NZ First which had notched up to three per cent.

Both Seymour and Winston Peters have been the bluntest of the critics of the Government’s handling of the various elements of Covid-19.

As for Judith Collins, she need not take heart from National’s result of 26 per cent compared to the paltry 21 per cent National got in a Taxpayers’ Union Curia poll taken at the start of the month.

Because National too had dropped in the 1News Colmar Brunton poll. Yet again it was Act that profited.

Collins’ 5 per cent result as preferred prime minister is one of the worst ever seen for an Opposition leader.

Nor has National made up any ground since its election result.

Collins was initially brought in as the night watchman to see National through to the election after Muller stepped down.

She did that, but is now still at the crease dead-batting when the party needs a batter who can at least hit steady singles – if not a few boundaries.

The voters are not making the job of the selectors easy. All the speculation about Simon Bridges taking over again has not resulted in a lift for him in the polls – he is at two per cent.

In recent days, Sir John Key subbed himself in as leader of the Opposition and delivered a batting masterclass. launching his stinging critique of many aspects of the Government’s handling of the Covid-19 response.

In the absence of that big hitter in the current National caucus, the batter the voters have turned to appears to be David Seymour.

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