Bridges feeling confident ahead of vote

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges will find out if he is the new National Party leader tomorrow. File photo.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges is looking forward to tomorrow’s caucus meeting in Wellington, where the National Party MPs will vote on who will replace Bill English as party leader.

Simon was among the first MPs to put his hand up nearly two weeks ago for the role.

He will be up against the party old guard of Judith Collins and Steven Joyce, as well as relative newbies Amy Adams and Mark Mitchell.

“I’m excited about tomorrow,” says Simon. “It’s a great opportunity to lead the National Party and make a real difference. I feel good about my level of support, but of course there’s four other quality candidates, so I can’t take anything for granted.”

He says he and his caucus colleagues will meet around 10.30am, where a vote will be held on both the leader and deputy leader positions.

The voting system is progressive, meaning if no candidate secures a majority of caucus outright (29 votes), the lowest-scoring candidate will drop out, and another round of voting will commence.

Although there are five MPs vying for the leadership, so far only Paula Bennett has indicated an interest in the deputy role.

“Ultimately it’s for caucus to decide,” says Simon. “Paula is our current deputy, and I could certainly work with her.”

He says if he doesn’t win, he’ll be disappointed, but intends to get in behind whoever is leader and make sure National is an effective opposition.

He’s also ruled out taking another tilt at the leadership before the 2020 election.

“National doesn’t replace its leader very often,” he says. “Tomorrow’s leader will be only the 12th in history, while Labour has gone through several in the last few years. So I think we have a good system in place.”

Jacinda Ardern is currently the Labour Party’s 17th leader – although previous Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark was the 12th.

Helen was also the longest-serving Labour Party leader, at just shy of 15 years, while the longest-serving National Party leader was Sidney Holland, at a staggering 17 years.

Jim McLay has the distinction of being the shortest-serving National leader at around 16 months, while David Cunliffe served the shortest term as Labour leader, at just over a year.


Goodbye National

Posted on 27-02-2018 14:39 | By kimmel

Always voted National, but The Greens have my vote now that he is leader.


Posted on 27-02-2018 13:03 | By morepork

There are times when you need to say:"yes". The role of Leader gives you the luxury of formulating policy with your colleagues, rather than just endorsing the Leader and going with the flow. Simon is an intelligent man who firmly believes in New Zealand. I believe he will be PM one day, but right now might be too early to make his move... Time will tell. Meanwhile, I wish him every success. (I should state that I tend to be apolitical, and am what’s known as a "swinging voter", rather than a die-hard Labour or National supporter...) A good strong Opposition is good for Democracy and good for all of us.


Posted on 27-02-2018 10:39 | By Capt_Kaveman

will be back as she is ruthless and corrupt as hell just what Nat are

Best person for the job

Posted on 27-02-2018 09:11 | By Dazed and Confused

Is Simon.


Posted on 27-02-2018 08:51 | By Merlin

The arrogance needs to go from national and I do not think this candidate will do that.


Posted on 27-02-2018 08:47 | By dumbkof2

how about making winnie leader

Not a leader

Posted on 27-02-2018 08:24 | By Captain Sensible

He is not a leader. He’s a "yes man". Labour would be laughing for another 3 years if he gets the nod.

Nice guy BUT

Posted on 27-02-2018 08:23 | By Maryfaith

.... no way is he suitable for this job! It will be the end of National as ’Told You" says. Simon’s unfortunate ’accent’ will have people reaching for the ’mute’ button. Judith Collins is the only candidate to meet Jacinda head to head - and Judith will win every time!

No Way

Posted on 27-02-2018 07:44 | By Told you

If this guy gets the nod National will be gone forever.

Hope not

Posted on 27-02-2018 00:31 | By Tgaboy

Gosh Id be disappointed to see this guy get the job. Attended a forum once he facilitated when the Rena happened. He was arrogant and self righteous in that role. That experience was enough for me to be unimpressed. But since then he has pushed for deep sea mining despite his communities experience that highlighted our ill ability to manage disaster, undervalued our endangered sea life and has been uninformed in some of the natural value of NZ when allowing mining consents. He has no ones interests at heart but his own.

Ain't got a

Posted on 26-02-2018 23:56 | By The Caveman

Dogs show, and if I ask the question, what has he really done for the "Tauranga Region" in the last five years BUGGER ALL.

Good for Simon

Posted on 26-02-2018 21:17 | By backofthequeue

Not so good for Tauranga. Just when you thought the past multi-Minister would have some time to devote to his own electorate he now seeks a new distraction.

The two

Posted on 26-02-2018 18:32 | By Merlin

The two B’s Bridges and Bennett not my cup of Milo. A and C for my money.Adam’s and Collins but then the male ego would be hurt

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