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

The National Party is in a public leadership scrap, recalling its MPs to Wellington for an emergency caucus meeting on Friday to vote on its leadership team.

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In a big move Simon Bridges announced two MPs were vying to be leaders. Source: 1 NEWS

In a big move, leader Simon Bridges made the announcement that two of his MPs were vying to be leaders, in a bid to force the hand of runners Nikki Kaye and Todd Muller. 

This afternoon, Mr Muller emailed his fellow National MPs saying he wants the top job and 1 NEWS understands he also wants Ms Kaye to be his deputy.

1 NEWS obtained a copy of the email today, which says: "It is essential National wins this election. I share the view of a majority of colleagues that this is not possible under the current leadership."

In the email, Mr Muller says he believes he's "best placed" to become leader and he'll be talking to everyone about how they can pull together in wake of Covid-19. 

Neither Mr Muller nor Ms Kaye would be interviewed by 1 NEWS when contacted today.

Read More:
National to hold emergency caucus meeting on Friday about party's leadership

Now all political eyes will be on the latest 1 NEWS-Colmar Brunton poll, released tomorrow.

National's emergency vote will be held at midday on Friday, meaning MPs have less than two days to decide who they want in the top job.

Mr Bridges says he's going to fight for the role and won't be standing down.

"I'm very confident I will win but I want to put it to the test against the challengers so we can resolve it as a caucus and as I say, look to move on."

Judith Collins and Mark Mitchell, also tipped as possible leaders, aren't vying for the job. 

Both camps say they're confident they have the numbers, so there'll be a fight on Friday.

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Jessica Mutch McKay: Simon Bridges challenges leadership rivals to 'put up or shut up'

The latest 1 NEWS-Colmar Brunton poll will be released at 6pm tomorrow.

It runs from Saturday until tonight, and paints a picture of where things are at post-Budget and a week into Level 2.