'It's all over' - Political commentators predict Todd Muller to win today's National caucus vote

Todd Muller has been picked as National's next leader - by political commentators, at least - ahead of the party's high-stakes caucus vote today. 

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Josie Pagani and Ben Thomas both believe Muller will win the emergency caucus vote. Source: 1 NEWS

National MPs will descend on Wellington for the emergency leadership vote, set to take place at midday, with Mr Muller vying to snatch the reins of Opposition party power from current leader Simon Bridges. 

It comes after two disastrous polls for the party were revealed this week. They include a 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll last night that had National slump to 29 per cent. In the same poll, Mr Muller polled at 0.2 per cent when people were asked to name their preferred Prime Minister. 

Because of Mr Muller's poll result, political commentator Ben Thomas told TVNZ1's Breakfast he thinks he's got it in the bag.

"I think it may have been a tightly run thing before last night's Colmar Brunton poll. I think a number with a two in front of it is clarifying," said Mr Thomas. 

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Mr Muller is hoping to oust Simon Bridges as the party’s leader. Source: 1 NEWS

"What the National party has to look at: Is their current leader a drag on their performance coming into the election?"

Josie Pagani agreed with Mr Thomas. 

"It's all over. This kind of momentum is impossible to come back from... I think he’ll be gone by midday.

"You know I might have to eat my words. You never know in politics ... but the one thing you can rely on in politics is self-interest. And if 16 MPs are going to lose their jobs then at least you know they're trying if they're following self-interest cause they don't want to lose their jobs."

Ms Pagani says Mr Bridges has failed to "capture" his audience. 

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The Opposition party will today decide whether Simon Bridges stays in as leader. Source: 1 NEWS

"I feel sorry for Simon. He's had to put up with a pandemic, the Prime Minister standing up every day giving in effect a speech from the throne. Everybody's incredibly grateful that we're not sick, that not many of us have died, so of course he's completely on the back foot. 

"But I think the real failure is not that Covid's happened and that he hasn't been able to get a word in edgewise. It's that he failed to make the case for why National should lead New Zealand. You have to capture a vision." 

'Not possible to win with Simon Bridges' - Todd Muller officially fighting for National Party leadership

Mr Muller emailed his fellow National MPs on Wednesday saying he wanted the top job, and 1 NEWS understands he also wants MP Nikki Kaye to be his deputy.

Both Mr Bridges and deputy leader Paula Bennett said yesterday that they are confident in the safety of their positions. 

It's understood Rodney MP Mark Mitchell may also be putting his name in the hat.

Mark Mitchell may contest National Party leadership, 1 NEWS understands