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'I am a bit confused' - Simon Bridges unclear over Judith Collins' allegiances in leadership battle

Simon Bridges says he is confused over fellow MP Judith Collins' admission she voted for new National leader Todd Muller in last month's leadership battle. 

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The former National leader thought Ms Collins was voting for him in last month’s leadership battle. Source: 1 NEWS

"That's life in the fast lane," Mr Bridges said today, when asked about Ms Collins' vote choice. "What does surprise me, and I am a bit confused, is that she made quite clear publicly she was voting for me, days before it, and then she obviously changed." 

"It would be interesting to know why she changed her vote."

Simon Bridges, Nick Smith, Judith Collins and other National Party members at Rātana. Source: 1 NEWS

On if Ms Collins would have caused other MPs to vote for Mr Muller, Mr Bridges used Kiwi rapper Scribe's line of, "not many, if any". 

1 NEWS spoke to Ms Collins at Wellington airport hours before the leadership vote on May 22. 

She wouldn’t be drawn on who she would vote for as National leader, adding , "I always like to keep my vote to myself".

Ms Collins said at the time Mr Bridges was "not quite" there in terms of the communication skills in comparison to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. "He doesn’t quite have those, but I think he’s a very good leader."

Ms Collins told RNZ yesterday she voted for Todd Muller as leader. 

Today, when asked of Mr Bridges' confusion over her support, Ms Collins said, "it's how much support comes both ways".

"I think it's very important I made the right decision based on what I thought was the right course for the party."

She said the leadership team of Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye "didn't have to promise me a lot".

"The thing I wanted in the party was a team that I thought would have a better chance of taking the National Party through to victory.

"And also I wanted to make sure that we didn't lose MPs, list MPs in particular are very reliant on the popularity of the leader. It was very clear to me that Todd Muller would have a better chance."

Just prior to the leadership vote, National dropped to 29 per cent support in the May 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll. It rose up to 38 per cent in June's poll

"We were not going to do as well," Ms Collins said. "I'm in a very good seat and a lot of our caucus colleagues are not."