Judith Collins is putting a brave face on the latest political poll, which shows National languishing on 32 per cent - more than 20 points behind Labour.
Collins claimed today voters would return to National again as the economy turned to "custard" - and hundreds of thousands of people came off the second-tranch wage subsidy, on September 1.
She told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking she was "not at all worried" about the 1 News-Colmar Brunton poll.
"It's only two weeks in (for her leadership)," Collins said. "I think people are saying at least Judith gets on with the job and that's what you want."
National is down to 32 per cent while Labour moved up another three points in the 1 News-Colmar Brunton poll, to 53 per cent.
Although it was an improvement for National on the Newshub-Reid Research poll earlier this week - that poll had them on a lowly 25 per cent - they are still six points down on where they were when the last Colmar Brunton poll was done in June.
Collins insisted the party was on the way up and that the Colmar Brunton poll was "nowhere near" where National's internal polls stood.
"Don't worry about it, it's all going in the right direction in my opinion."
She said New Zealand was in for a tough economic time, with more job losses, and voters knew National would be the ones to lead when things turned to "custard".
She said 200,000 people were on unemployment benefits, and 360,000 people on wage subsidies that ended on September 1. "We are not sure how many of those are going to have a job after it."
"There are big, tough jobs ahead for us."
New Zealand First would be out of Parliament next term on last night's results, with the party getting just 2 per cent and just one in three voters trusting Winston Peters.
But the poll was at least a personal win for Collins who was up on her predecessors as preferred prime minister - though still a long way from Jacinda Ardern's 54 per cent.
It also put both Act and the Greens on five per cent, putting them right on the threshold to re-enter Parliament without winning an electorate.
But it would be a big win for Act - which had their highest poll result for 17 years - which would get six seats in the House and if leader David Seymour wins his safe Epsom seat.
Seymour also did well in the trust rankings with 48 per cent, only coming second to Ardern who 82 per cent trust.
Collins split voters almost down the middle with 47 per cent trusting her and 45 per cent not.
The Greens co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson got 47 per cent and 44 per cent respectively.
Shaw said the results showed they "needed to get out there and campaign".
"People know the value that we have added to the Government."
The least trusted was New Zealand First leader Winston Peters who had 34 per cent and 59 per cent who didn't trust him.
New Zealand First stayed put on 2 per cent which was unchanged from the last Colmar Brunton poll last month.
Despite dropping National dropping another six points which would entitle the party to 41 seats, Collins was optimistic.
"For the last couple of weeks I think you can see we've had to deal with some big issues," she told TVNZ.
"People want those things sorted. They've now seen those sorted and it's only onwards and upwards."
Collins soared in the preferred prime minister rankings, scoring 20 per cent which was almost double the 13 per cent former leader Todd Muller got last month and the highest Simon Bridges' highest result of 12 per cent in May 2018.
The poll comes after National took aim at the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll which showed the party had plummeted to 25.1 per cent - down 5.5 per cent on its previous results.
Both recent polls have National down about 6 per cent on last month.
Collins slammed the Reid Research poll as "rogue" and "ridiculous" and their internal polling put them closer to the 40 per cent mark.
"I think it's really important that people think about what they're hearing on the ground and what we're hearing on the ground is entirely different," she said on Monday.
"Our own polling - which is done scientifically and is done every week - shows a completely different story."
Last night's poll had a margin of error of 3.1 per cent and surveyed 1004 eligible voters.
It was taken between Saturday and midnight on Wednesday after a scandalous week in politics which saw disgraced National MP Andrew Falloon quit for sending porn to a teen and four other women coming forward.
Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway was also stripped of his portfolios and announced he'd stand down after admitting to an affair with a staffer.
Results of the 1 News Colmar Brunton poll
Parliamentary seat entitlement
- Labour Party 67
- National Party 41
- Green Party 6
- ACT Party 6