Transcript: Susie Ferguson & Simon Bridges on Judith Collins & polling

Susie:

Well two major political polls this week made for grim reading for National’s Simon Bridges. Both have the opposition leader being supported by only one in 20 people and both showed there was more support for his colleague Judith Collins.

Asked on morning report yesterday if she thought her leader was doing a good job, Ms Collins has this to say:

“Well I think he’s doing the best job that he can and I think that all we need to do is to do better and everyone has to work very hard together.

But the big issue, from my point of view in my experience in politics, is the more that party talks about itself the less likely people want to listen to them.

And what they do what to know, the public is what we are doing for them and what we want to do for them.”

Well Mr Bridges is in the Wellington studio, ata maria.

Simon:

Morena.

Susie:

Is Judith Collins damning you with faint praise there?

Simon:

No, look the reality is I’m comfortable with my leadership. I’ve got great backing of a great team and I’m focused on holding the government to account and our positive plans and policies. And I agree with…

Susie:

Great backing and great team though – it didn’t sound like a ringing endorsement.

Simon:

I think it did. The reality is this…

Susie:

It sounded more like a teacher trying to put a positive spin on someone.

Simon:

Well, as I say, I mean I’m focused on New Zealanders and what they want and I think the reality is you said the polls are damning – actually what the poll there from Television NZ, which is what we are seeing as well, shows us National up Labour down and that’s very easy to understand because Labour is not delivering on its… it is failing to deliver on its promises.

Susie:

Just before we move onto the polling more generally, have you spoken to Judith Collins regarding leadership at all?

Simon:

No, but I’m always speaking with her. I’ve probably spoken with her several times yesterday, and many of my colleagues. That’s important. But we are resolutely focused…

Susie:

And has she said to you that she is openly supportive of you as the leader?

Simon:

I’m talking about all manner of things with Judith including KiwiBuild and so on. That’s what we are focused on.

We are focused on a middle New Zealand right now. They’ve got nothing out of the budget except more tax, more costs, more bad debt and a weakening economy. We know they’re the things that are in.. that’s why we are in the mid-40s in our polling because ah New Zealanders know that, as I say, is a government that is failing to deliver on its promises.

Susie:

So, you believe Colmar Brunton?

Simon:

Yeah, because it’s very similar to what we are seeing. And, you know, look there will always be variety in these things. And it’s sort of a new phenomenon isn’t it? We’ve seen Australia and America and other countries… but I know we have very strong polling, it’s very similar to what we’re seeing in TV NZ, and frankly when you look at this budget…

Susie:

So, Research is at outlier as far as you are concerned?

Simon:

Well, I think you’ve got a situation, you’ve got variation, haven’t you? You’ve got one poll very different from another – they simply both can’t be right.

Susie:

Are you also in your polling looking at your rating as preferred prime minister?

Simon:

We are looking at all sorts of things but I’m not going to talk about…

Susie:

But is that also reflected…

Simon:

No, I’m not going to talk about that Suzy.

Susie:

Broadly speaking the polling is reflective in terms of the party vote, is it also reflective in terms of your personal rating?

Simon: 

I am confident and comfortable in my leadership. I am focused on Kiwis, on a…

Susie:

That’s not what I am asking you, I am asking you specifically if…

Simon:

…Labour party that is failing to deliver for New Zealanders on its promises.

Susie:

But I’m specifically asking you Mr Bridges on your personal rating. You’ve been very open and it’s great. You’ve said that broadly speaking Colmar Brunton reflects your polling as well, but what about your personal rating?

Simon:

My answer is: that’s not what I am focused on. I’m focused on our positive plans for New Zealand and holding a government to account. It needs it and that’s why National is up and Labour is down. Because actually, as we worked out yesterday, there’s one and a half million more petrol taxes that they’ve piled on literally since the budget. And I’m trying to talk to you Susie about what New Zealanders care about.

Susie:

I know but the questions I’m asking you about are about your polling and you’ve been… you’ve been very open… you’ve been very open about your party vote but you haven’t been very open about your preferred prime minister status. Why is that?

Simon:

I… I haven’t actually told you a party vote, all I’ve said is that it is similar. Because… because what matters in polling ultimately, is where parties are at. That’s what determines power. And we’ve got a situation where there are two polls… it’s sort of an interesting phenomena, ink has been spilled on it. As I say, one of them can’t be right. Ultimately what these polls show, is they show a National party up, they show a Labour party down, and the reason for that is there was no budget bounce because New Zealanders are working out that if you’re sitting there at home, all you’ve got as you’re getting ready to go to work is more tax, more cost, more debt and a weakening economy under Labour.

Susie:

Well, one of the polls shows National up, and Labour down – that is the Colmar Brunton, so on your polling are you saying are you also consistently seeing one of your MPs, one of your senior MPs, pulling higher than you in the preferred prime minister?

Simon:

No, no, no. But look, the point is…

Susie:

Because that’s another consistent one to come out of the polling.

Simon:

You simply asked me, you’ve simply asked me – two polls, what do you think is happening? I’m trying to tell you and the reality of it is it’s a situation where you got two very different polls, one of them can’t be right. What we see is broadly similar to the National party.

Susie:

What is it like for you to be polling consistently behind Judith Collins in the preferred prime minister stakes?

Simon:

It is great that we have a fantastic team with Judith, with Paula, with Mark, with many people who are in fact…doing a great job.

33%
×