Judith Collins reflects on 'remarkable' journey from early years as a Labour voter to becoming National leader

National's newly appointed leader Judith Collins has reflected on her "remarkable" journey from a Labour voter to leader of the oppositon.

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She said it’s “remarkable” that the party chose her to replace Todd Muller. Source: 1 NEWS

The politician fronted media this evening following the party's emergency caucus meeting in which she was voted in as leader to replace Todd Muller. Gerry Brownlee was announced as her deputy. 

Ms Collins says she's "very, very pleased" to have the honour of being the new National leader, considering her early political preferences.

"Starting out as a Labour voter back when I was a child...I find it remarkable that the National party has chosen me and obviously they always were going to choose Gerry.

"I'm just so privileged to be in this position and to also represent the excellent electorate of Papakura."

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Mark Mitchell also ran and voting was close, 1 NEWS understands.

She said the difference between her and New Zealand's current Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was her own "experience, toughness and ability to make decisions". 

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Ms Collins thanked media for staying up so late after she was named leader with Gerry Brownlee as her deputy. Source: 1 NEWS

But she also said Ms Ardern shouldn't be underestimated. 

"Jacinda Ardern is not someone we should ever underestimate, her own party did so for many years. She is an adversary that I would absolutely respect."

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"But I can tell you what our, team is better than our team."

Ms Collins' appointment follows Mr Muller's shock resignation this morning, 53 days after he rolled Simon Bridges.