Former National leader Simon Bridges has given a blunt appraisal of National's failed election campaign.
Bridges, who is still standing for the party as the incumbent in Tauranga, appeared on 1 NEWS to give his thoughts on what has been a disastrous night for National.
"It’s grim. I can’t think of a worse night except for possibly 2002 - but look, it’s grim."
Bridges wouldn’t be drawn on whether the party would have fared better should he have remained as leader.
"What I see on the numbers is a massive majority for Labour with unfettered power to do what they want," Bridges said of the result so far.
The former National Party leader also had high praise for Labour’s Jacinda Ardern.
"I think there is two things that occurred to me - one, a huge personal popular sentiment towards Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and we can see that tonight in spades.
"I think on the other side it was the National Party that was struggling with its own issues and didn’t have a plan or a strategy, so the candidates out in the field in a bunch of seats weren’t really sure what they should be saying on the issues."
He went on to say, "there will have to be some real soul searching by National".
"Bluntly, towards the end there there wasn’t any sense of a key message and we are seeing the results of that tonight."
Bridges held on to his seat in Tauranga.