Relax Simon, Judith Collins isn't breathing down your neck.

At least, not yet ...

Simon Bridges nudged two points up the preferred prime minister chart in this week's 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll.

That put him on 12 per cent, so honeymoons don't last long — even for a new face as leader of the Opposition.


But that same poll saw Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern up four points to 41 per cent, so Bridges clearly has some work to do, and there has to be a question whether he is the person to bridge the gap.

And that's before the cute baby pictures start appearing.

Meanwhile, Collins — as sharp as a stiletto — is on 2 per cent, a modest reflection of her strong performance in Opposition and the substantial support she has among the hard right of the National Party.

But as National remains the most popular party at 45 per cent to Labour's 43 per cent, one wonders what Collins number would be were she leading such an impressively-backed party. I'd say a lot more than 12 per cent.

The ambitious Collins made a run for the leadership last year, and no doubt believes she'll get another shot. It might be time to check what odds you can get for her running the show sometime late 2019.

Ardern is National's problem. She's too likeable ... her smile warms the nation. She's inspirational, she carries a glow of idealism and possibility, and people want a slice of it.

She's a vision of how New Zealand wants to be - 100 per cent pure, clean and green.

She's Mother Teresa with a casting vote, out to conquer child poverty, homelessness and all the ills known to man. Everybody wants to get on board with that.


Hope and aspiration are intoxicating and we are flying high on it.

Of course, it could all turn to custard. M. bovis, an economic slump, a shortage of builders ... Ardern could end up looking like just another politician.

She may quit on grounds of gender equality and take a reciprocal walk-on role in Clarke Gayford's fishing show. She may realise that parenting is more important than running the country.

Whatever ... it will be a fun ride while it lasts.