Judith Collins hits the campaign trail

Judith Collins on the campaign trail yesterday. Photo: Getty Imaged
Judith Collins. Photo: Getty Images
With a new poll showing voters back Judith Collins to change the flagging fortunes of the National Party, the leader is hitting the campaign trail in Auckland today.

In the latest NZ Herald Kantar Vote 2020 poll 50 per cent of those polled said National was likely to do better at the election with Collins at the helm rather than her predecessor Todd Muller.

The Papakura MP took over as party leader on July 14 after Muller stood down citing health concerns following a tumultuous 53 days in the job.

The latest positive poll result comes National continues to poll in the mid-20s with Roy Morgan putting the party on 26.5 percent and the Labour Party at 53.5 percent.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern remains streets ahead as preferred prime minister on 60 percent, though Collins' star is starting to rise, a recent poll putting her at 20 percent.

Collins is campaigning in Auckland today, visiting a number of trade business sites in Ellerslie and Onehunga.

National party list

Many sitting National MPs will be nervous about the party's list which could see at least six out of Parliament unless it can win more than 40 percent of the vote.

And if it manages to hold on to 40 of the 41 seats it won in 2017, it would still need 34 percent to keep their finance spokesman, Paul Goldsmith, who's ranked third.

But the list unveiled by leader Collins and party president Peter Goodfellow on Saturday provided few surprises, with the top 21 mostly matching current caucus rankings.

Among those who could be out are Jo Hayes and Alfred Ngaro - as National need to win 44 percent to keep both. The most recent poll put it at 32 percent.

Hayes, at number 44 and the party's spokeswoman for Whanau Ora and Maori development, dropped eight spots from the previous election's list and is the lowest ranked MP.

Hayes recently criticised the diversity on National's front bench under its previous leader Todd Muller saying it was "not good enough". But Collins said, "We're very confident we can get Jo back in."

Ngaro, spokesman for Pacific peoples, has dropped 10 spots to number 30. He's against senior Labour MP Phil Twyford in Te Atatu, which Collins called "very winnable" for National.

"Anyone can beat Phil Twyford, particularly if you've got a blue ribbon on them."

Chartered accountant Nancy Lu is the highest ranked newcomer at number 26 and was given one of the few list-only slots National allows for.

Former Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon is at 61 to reflect he's standing in Botany, which Collins said was "one of the safest National seats in the country".

Twelve National MPs are retiring at the election, including Nikki Kaye, Amy Adams, Paula Bennett and Anne Tolley, while disgraced Rangitata MP Andrew Falloon resigned for sending pornographic images to a teenager.

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