Todd Muller gone - who will replace him?

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

Members of the National Party flooded into Wellington Airport for an emergency caucus meeting following the resignation of Todd Muller today. 
The future of the party is the topic, who will lead the party into the general election and who could possibly be the new prime minister of the country come September. 

Fifty-three days of Todd Muller and it hasn't been easy. He took the job from Ngāti Maniapoto's Simon Bridges, who, with Paula Bennett (Waikato), made up the first Māori duo to lead the party.

Muller said the role was untenable from a health perspective for him and made his decision effective immediately. 

Prime Minister, Jacinda has sent her best wishes to Muller and his family.

Less than two months but full of political sting

It's been a tough ride for Muller but now it's time for the party to look toward the general elections. It's certainly been a hard day in the office for National.

But don't turn your back on them too quickly, as they have some of the strongest women in Parliament on their front bench in Nikki Kaye, Judith Collins and Amy Adams.

Anyone of them could step up and take the role. though whether they'll have the same political pull as Jacinda Ardern had when she took over as Labour Party leader eight weeks out from the last elections is debatable.

Political commentator Te Hira Pere says he sees a possible alternative for the party.

"What the party could probably do right now is put Nikki in there as the interim. Go through the election. Take it as a loss and after the election really consider how you're going to move forward. What leadership do you really want for your party? 

"If I had a choice,  I think Judith Collins is very capable. She's been in there a long time, she had experience in opposition, she's been a minister. If I were in a position to make it, I'd be picking her."

But it's going to take a miracle to help turn the tide for National.

It's polling low numbers. It has senior members resigning.

It has been under the pump for mistakes including misinformation, leaks and everything in between.

It's a party in disarray.

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