Labour leader David Shearer has dropped in popularity according to a poll, but political commentators say it's not his fault.

Shearer polled at 13 per cent as preferred Prime Minister last month, dropping from 14 per cent in May, a One News Colmar Brunton poll has revealed.

In April his popularity stood at 11 per cent.

Speaking on Q+A today, former Labour minister and Waipareira Trust chief executive John Tamihere said the figure could be attributed to several factors.


"Shearer's problem is that he also has a front bench that's not firing. He can't do everything.

"Secondly they're restructuring the whole party, thirdly he's succeeded after 19 years of Clark and co, and fourthly you've got a prime minister that is over a whole range of breaking issues,'' he said.

Columnist and UNITE union leader Matt McCarten agreed, saying that while the figure should be higher, it needed to be kept in perspective, "his 13 is a lot more than Phil Goff had and he's [Goff is] a more experienced politician''.

Shearer's progress was slow, but "he is beginning to grow into the job'', said Dr Raymond Miller.

"If they've never been prime minister before, it's very hard for people to actually understand how well they might do,'' he told Q+A.