22 May 2020

National Party leadership to be decided at midday

From Morning Report, 7:09 am on 22 May 2020

It's high noon for the National Party and MPs decide at midday who will lead them into the September election.

Simon Bridges called the bluff of contenders Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye, forcing a vote on his position and that of his deputy Paula Bennett, following a disastrous poll on Monday.

A second poll last night delivered even worse news, putting National at 29 percent - numbers not seen since the early 2000s under Bill English. Bridges also took a dive in that One News Colmar Brunton poll in the preferred Prime Minister stakes, dropping six points to 5 percent, against Jacinda Ardern on 63 percent.

Labour's party vote also skyrocketed to a record 59 percent.

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

Political editor Jane Patterson speaks to Corin Dann.