Jacinda Ardern told Andrew Little to stick it out, before he called from a taxi

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern maintains she always supported Andrew Little in the leadership and that's why she told him ...
MARTIN DE RUYTER/STUFF

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern maintains she always supported Andrew Little in the leadership and that's why she told him to "stick it out'' when he initially asked her to take over.

Jacinda Ardern says Andrew Little asked her to take over the leadership six days before he resigned but she refused because she wanted to "support him".

The then-leader and deputy had a conversation on July 26, her birthday, where Little said he didn't think he could turn things around for the party and asked her to step up but she told him to "stick it out".

On Thursday Ardern told media Little had been open about the fact he had canvassed his senior MPs, including her, about whether he should remain in the job.

Then Labour deputy leader Jacinda Ardern spent months saying there was no plan B for the leadership and Andrew Little ...
PHIL WALTER/GETTY IMAGES

Then Labour deputy leader Jacinda Ardern spent months saying there was no plan B for the leadership and Andrew Little would see the party through to the election.

However the Colmar Brunton poll that sealed Little's fate didn't come out until several days after Little approached Ardern.

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She said on Thursday they had been doing their own polls - there had been at least two that Little had "flagged" with her that he was "worried" about.

"His decision probably firmed up later in the week," she said.

As to why she told him to stick it out?

"I absolutely believed we needed to support him - and that was my position - I was consistent and I always maintained that view when we talked together."

Ardern revealed the new timeline of events that led to her rise to leader at the Blackball (formerly Hilton Hotel) on Wednesday night.

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The town is the birthplace of the Labour movement, and while visiting Ardern was questioned by a local as to why she had ended up in the job.

The Colmar Brunton poll just days after Little signalled to Ardern he didn't think he could save the party had Labour hit a new low of 24 per cent and their own polling had them crashing to 23 per cent.

By August 1, six days after first speaking to Ardern, Little called her when she was in a taxi on her way to Parliament and said he was throwing in the towel – within hours Ardern had been made leader with Little's endorsement.

Since Ardern's taken over as leader the party has seen a rapid rise in the polls - the latest Colmar Brunton has them ahead of National on 43 per cent - a new poll is set to be released on Thursday night.

 - Stuff

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