The National Party's newly crowned leader Todd Muller has started off by saying he was "incredibly upbeat" about his chances in the next election – and has left a door open to reverse the decision not to engage with NZ First after the next election.
After successfully rolling Simon Bridges in a caucus Muller will now take on the task of trying to reclaim the ground National has lost in the polls over the Covid-19 crisis with just four months until the election.
Muller was elected leader after a bitter showdown with Simon Bridges, and Nikki Kaye was elected deputy to replace Paula Bennett.
The past three months have seen Labour and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern soar up to record levels of popularity in two polls while National's vote was decimated to around 30 per cent.
Muller acknowledged the challenge ahead but said the polling was clearly related to the Covid-19 crisis and the Government's "impressive" handling of the health response to that.
In an apparent reference to Bridges' leadership, Muller said he would talk about "what was right for families, not what was wrong about the Government."
Columnist Liam Hehir and podcaster Frances Cook joined the Sunday Panel to discuss what's next for Muller, Bridges, and the party as a whole.