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A look back at former National leader Simon Bridges' life in politics

Former National Party leader Simon Bridges has yet to announce whether he will end his career in politics after September's election after being ousted in a coup staged by MP Todd Muller.

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He entered Parliament in 2008 before becoming leader in 2018. Source: 1 NEWS

However, it’s undeniable that Mr Bridges has had a long career in politics, which began as a Young Nat in 1997. 

Mr Bridges then moved to Tauranga in 2001, where he had a successful legal career as a Crown prosecutor, before again being pulled back into National’s fold in 2008.

He then saw success facing off against New Zealand First leader and now-Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters in Tauranga, leaving the party out of Parliament.

The Tauranga MP then cut his teeth as a Cabinet minister in 2013, where he fronted growing opposition to deep sea oil drilling, before taking the party reins from then-leader, and former Prime Minister, Sir Bill English in 2018.

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Todd Muller rolled Mr Bridges today, four months out from the election. Source: 1 NEWS

While there were highs during his long career with the party, there were also lows, including a 2018 scandal involving former National MP Jami-Lee Ross.

In a recent 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll, National dropped to its lowest support since 2003, plunging 17 percentage points to 29 per cent amid Mr Bridges' poor handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The National Party leader got embroiled in a spat with Dr Ashley Bloomfield over the answering of questions from the Epidemic Response Select Committee. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Bridges’ preferred PM result also dropped six percentage points to 5 per cent, and his approval rating also fell to -40.

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The poll result heaps pressure on Simon Bridges with MPs set to decide if he stays as National leader. Source: 1 NEWS

In an emergency caucus meeting today, Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller succeeded Mr Bridges as party leader.

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Simon Bridges rolled, Todd Muller new National Party leader

Following the announcement of his ousting, Mr Bridges tweeted a photo of his family in Parliament, captioning it, “More time for the most important job I have. Thank you, New Zealand.”