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Leadership vote to set National‘s election course

Todd Muller and Simon Bridges are both MPs in the Tauranga/Bay of Plenty area.

At noon, National Party MPs will set the course for the September election and decide whether or not to install a new leadership team.

Simon Bridges called the bluff of would-be contenders Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye on Tuesday, forcing a vote on his position and deputy Paula Bennett after a disastrous poll the night before.

A second poll last night delivered even worse news, putting National at 29 per cent - numbers not seen since the early 2000s under Bill English. Labour's party vote skyrocketed to a record 59 per cent.

Simon also took a dive in the preferred Prime Minister stakes, dropping six points to 5 per cent, against Jacinda Ardern on 63 per cent.

National MPs have been converging on the capital for an emergency caucus meeting, the first time they've come together in person since the lockdown.

This has been a swift and brutal process that's played out out more publicly than many MPs would have liked, and one that may work against Bridges, with some MPs annoyed by his tactic to force a vote and flush out his opponents ahead of the scheduled Tuesday caucus.

Until last night, the numbers looked to be evenly balanced with neither side willing to claim a majority but the 29 per cent result seems to have pushed a group of undecided MPs towards the Muller camp, and potentially some who had been backing Simon.

Another result that will alarm MPs is the approval ratings, at -40.

What this means is only 22 per cent approved of the job he's doing as National Party leader, with 63 per cent disapproving, up from 51 per cent disapproving last October.

Simon argues the extraordinary coverage Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has received and the resultant political environment have driven the poll results, but the approval ratings show a correlation between his performance and the dive in the party vote.

The emergency caucus meeting will be convened at midday and, by all accounts, it will be head to head battle between Simon Bridges with deputy Paula Bennett, and Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye.

-RNZ/Jane Patterson.

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we will be..........

Posted on 22-05-2020 20:36 | By groutby

.....drawing out this ’lockdown’ and related Covid-19 issues as long as possible closer to election time, in the knowledge that the Labour coalition government avoids the really big question...recovery of the country’s finances...this will be disastrous considering they can’t even build a house..let alone a successful economy! I don’t agree that Jacinda Ardern is a great leader, but she is a great communicator, but as for financial matters with the current government, we may well all be doomed after the next election....

national

Posted on 22-05-2020 17:43 | By

national have still not learnt, they should have waited until after the election, a new leader now will not stop the Arden run away train, Bridges, and Muller no good, should have waited till new blood came along, a better leader would have been Luxton, Gerry Brownlees, paula bennet, judith collins, nick smith, being in too long it has become a paying retirement job, need new blood urgently.

Et tu, Brute

Posted on 22-05-2020 08:39 | By MarkFive

National lost their way with their embedded self-praising outward looking elitist policies. What is needed is a complete restart with new blood, not yet another wannabe that plasters his face all over the media (and his vehicle) at every opportunity “saying look at me”. The reason Jacinda is top of the pops (despite many in her coalition being a waste of space) is because she has the key attributes of likability, trust and most importantly integrity. National need to learn and adapt to a new way a politicking, but instead they continue to moan and begrudge while promoting their individual profiles and professional agendas. Blue or red, say what you want Jacinda is a great leader and proudly for New Zealand and the New Zealand people. Some like to call it fairy dust – thankfully, most recognise it as true integrity.