The trouble with political polls these days is that there are so few of them and they have such varied results that they can be used to support almost any narrative.

The one narrative that is common to both public polls - yes there are only two - is that Jacinda Ardern is in a different stratosphere to Simon Bridges as preferred Prime Minister.

His 5 per cent personal support is not pretty compared to Ardern's 41.8 per cent but it is the party vote that is crucial to Bridges' future.


The latest Newshub Reid Research poll was more dramatic in its presentation than in its results.

It may cause a murmur in National but is not the sort of result that will throw the party into crisis or into a coup mentality.

National has fallen below Labour for the first time in 12 years in the latest Newshub Reid Research poll, which last polled in May last year.

But National falling below Labour is not new in polling. It occurred twice in the past year in the other public poll, TV1's Colmar Brunton poll, which polled six times last year, although they criss-crossed at the end of the year with National ahead.

National also fell below Labour several times in the two parties' private polling.

That is not to say that Newshub's poll is wrong or that the TV1's poll with National well ahead of Labour is right.

Both Reid Research and Colmar Brunton are credible and experienced pollsters.

There is too much variation in the results to be sure of a trend, although it makes sense that a party led by a popular leader doing a great job for New Zealand in Europe at the time the poll was taken would receive a decent lift.


But polling 41.6 per cent for National is not crisis territory.

Judith Collins being ahead of Bridges as preferred Prime Minister by 1.2 points is not surprising seeing as it has been predicted for the past year.

But this is not the sort of result that triggers talk of resignations or coups.

National's party vote polling would have to get a lot worse for a lot longer before the knives are sharpened for Bridges.

• The Newshub Reid Research poll was conducted between January 24 and February 2 and party votes results were: Labour 47.5 (up 4.9 from May last year), National 41.6 (down 3.5), Greens 5.1 (down 0.6), NZ First 2.9 (up 0.5).