Jacinda Ardern leapfrogs Andrew Little in latest preferred prime minister poll

Labour's deputy Jacinda Ardern is a rising star in both the party and the popularity polls.
DEREK FLYNN/FAIRFAX NZ

Labour's deputy Jacinda Ardern is a rising star in both the party and the popularity polls.

Labour leader Andrew Little will be sweating after his deputy leader, Jacinda Ardern, outshone him in the first political poll since she took on the role.

The latest Newshub-Reid Research poll has Labour's rising star, Ardern, at 10.5 per cent for preferred Prime Minister - up 7.6 points - compared with Little on 8.3 per cent, who is down 2.2 on the last poll.

When Ardern won the role after former deputy Annette King stepped aside in the face of mounting pressure to stamp a fresh face on the leadership lineup, she said she wasn't concerned she could top Little in popularity.

Labour's deputy Jacinda Ardern insisted she wouldn't pass leader Andrew Little in the popularity polls.
KEVIN STENT/FAIRFAX NZ

Labour's deputy Jacinda Ardern insisted she wouldn't pass leader Andrew Little in the popularity polls.

At the time she adamantly told reporters it wouldn't happen. 

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Prime Minister Bill English will also be taking in his latest polling after slipping to 25 per cent - a score that fails to match the popularity of his predecessor John Key.

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The result puts him 11 percentage points behind Key's 36.7 per cent result in August last year - which was his worst result in the Newshub poll.

English's result appears to be the lowest figure for a sitting Prime Minister in at least 10 years, dating back to Helen Clark's final term in charge.

Little said he wasn't worried about Ardern's popularity and his job was to "put the best team together".

Prime Minister Bill English appears to be less popular than John Key, according to a new poll.
MAARTEN HOLL/FAIRFAX NZ

Prime Minister Bill English appears to be less popular than John Key, according to a new poll.

"I'm very pleased we have a deputy leader who is as popular as she is, who works as hard as she does and is good as she is. That's great, we need a strong team and we have that."

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He was pleased with the feedback he had been receiving around the country ahead of the election.

"Every poll is interesting to some extent but I don't set a lot of store by it, to be honest - I know what my job is, and we're a very stable, focused caucus.

Key, who leaves Parliament next month, has stayed out of the spotlight since English took over.
TWITTER/BILL ENGLISH

Key, who leaves Parliament next month, has stayed out of the spotlight since English took over.

Ardern dismissed the poll and said it didn't matter and what was important was Labour getting more votes than National and changing the government.

"Where I am isn't relevant to that."

"I'm not focused at all on those individual numbers and neither is he."

Ardern said she's here to support Little and it's "the only job I'm interested in".

She romped home in the Mt Albert by-election earlier this year - a seat previously held by former Labour leader David Shearer and Prime Minister Helen Clark.

The poll also revealed National, along with its current support partners, would still need NZ First to be able to form a government.

National was up 2 per cent to 47.1 per cent, Labour was down 1.9 to 30.8 per cent and the Greens were slightly down to 11.2 per cent. That gives the Labour/Greens block a total of 42 per cent.

NZ First was polling at 7.6 per cent - down 0.5 - and the highest polling of the minor parties was Gareth Morgan's Opportunities Party on 0.8 per cent.

In February the 1 News/Colmar Brunton poll put English on 31 per cent, similar to Key's 36 per cent result in the station's poll last November. 

The news comes as Key prepares to leave Parliament next month, delivering his valedictory speech on Wednesday.

The three-term Prime Minister has largely stayed out of the spotlight since English took over from him in December last year.

The Newshub poll surveyed 1000 people, with a margin of error of 3.1 per cent.

 - Stuff

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