The TVNZ poll numbers pretty much confirm what most of us would have suspected.

Labour is down significantly: by 5 points to 43. And that is the result of the mess of the last month: Clare Curran; the Labour Party 'party scandal'; the Russia debacle where they couldn't find any spies. Labour have looked shambolic and amateurish, and the golden glow of the post-coalition deal honeymoon is well and truly over.

The upside is, it's early days. But on the horizon, if you believe Labour's coalition partner NZ First, dark economic times are coming. Mix the Labour ineptitude with bad economics, and you have a Government in serious trouble.

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Once you go below the opposition in terms of support, it's a rare old day you ever get back above them. National ended the election the most popular party, they're back as the most popular

party. And that's the reality of this for the other players. NZ First and the Greens are up slightly and they'll be happy. But trouble is, can they afford to be? Because from here on in, they're tethered to Labour.

They're not parties that can play the middle of the road, balance of power card. If Labour sinks, they sink with it, and so goes the 20 year old poison chalice of MMP. Not a single minor player has got to government with a major party and lived to tell the story in any sort of positive way. And just six months in, we might be seeing the pattern re-emerge yet again.

If National has something to worry about, apart from a lack of MMP partners, it's Simon Bridges.

Bridges is on 10 per cent support. Ardern is on 37, which in itself is not flash - a popular Prime Minister should be challenging 50 per cent especially given no one else scores.

So Bridges on 10 is good, given last time he was on one. But an opposition leader needs to look like his party, and in this case his party is popular, and he isn't. He will argue, and at this moment in time fairly, that he's been there five minutes.

So let's see. But if it isn't in the 30s by the end of winter, he's got trouble, and he'll start to look like a lame duck, and I'll be rolling out those editorials that argued that he shouldn't have got the job in the first place. So for Labour, hardly the end of the world. But this early on with an economy as strong as the one they've been handed, this is a red flag.

Another survey, two surveys like it and it's real trouble. It's political quicksand - once you look like you're sliding, once you look like you're losing... you're losing.