In a week that has seen more turbulence for the National Party and Judith Collins' leadership, the party's main pollster has some key advice for the party to get back on track.
Curia founder and principal pollster David Farrar was the guest on this week's episode of On the Tiles, the New Zealand Herald's new politics podcast hosted by deputy political editor Derek Cheng and senior political reporter Thomas Coughlan.
The episode was recorded prior to the release of a new Curia poll commissioned by the Taxpayer's Union, which has National on just 21.2 per cent, with Act close behind on 14.9 per cent.
The result is only slightly above National's worst-ever election result of 20.93 per cent in 2002.
While Farrar could not comment on the poll specifically, he did note that if the party polled between 22 and 29 per cent, it was languishing in a "zone of irrelevancy".
He said there had been a "lack of discipline" from Collins in recent weeks, and National was too busy responding to everything the Government does rather than focusing on three key issues it can sell to the public.
"In politics, what you're meant to do is really simple, but it's hard to master," Farrar told the podcast.
He said that Act has an easier task in opposition, as they aren't appealing to swing voters and can go after the Government on every issue, whereas National can't appear to be too critical of the Covid response and risk losing support.
On the subject of Collins' future as leader, which has been speculated about for weeks, Farrar did not think that National should rush to change leaders.
"If the problem's been four leaders in three years, is five leaders in three years the solution?"
On the Covid response, the panel also discussed the Government's latest moves around the Covid-19 Delta outbreak, including the in-principle decision to move Auckland to level 3 next week – was it a risky political move, and how much of an appetite is there for further lockdowns?
They also discussed how many deaths from Covid-19 would be acceptable to the public, how the other parties are faring during the lockdown, and why Chlöe Swarbrick should be the chair of the Epidemic Response Committee.