Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller has rolled Simon Bridges, taking over as National Party leader after staging a coup.
It follows a disastrous 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll result last night that saw National drop to its lowest support since 2003, plunging 17 percentage points to 29 per cent.
Mr Bridges’ preferred PM result dropped six percentage points to 5 per cent, and his approval rating also fell to -40.
Mr Muller's victory came after an emergency caucus meeting today, where MPs were brought back to Wellington to make the vote.
The National Party website crashed during the meeting.
Nikki Kaye has been elected Deputy Leader, replacing Paula Bennett.
In a statement released shortly after, Mr Muller wrote: "There is no Team Todd, there is no Team Nikki, or anyone else – there is only Team National."
"National has always been a coalition of city and country, business and community, conservatives and liberals – National is the party for all New Zealanders. New Zealanders need a National Government with the experience and management skills to get our country through the worst crisis since the end of the Second World War.
"My focus as leader is our country’s economic recovery and the strengthening of every community throughout New Zealand."
When Mr Muller arrived at Parliament this morning, he told journalists he was “feeling very excited", calling it “a momentous day for the National Party”.
Mr Muller, who grew up in Te Puna, Bay of Plenty, was a former staffer to then-PM Jim Bolger in 1996, entering Parliament as an MP in 2014.
He sat at National MP rank 16, and was spokesperson for agriculture, biosecurity, food safety and forestry.
The 51-year-old worked as general manager for Zespri and was group director of corporate affairs for Fonterra.
Mr Muller, an avid US politics fan who has described himself previously to the Bay of Plenty Times as an “American politics tragic”, was on the receiving end of the infamous ‘OK, boomer’ quip by Green MP Chlöe Swarbrick last year.
Tauranga MP Simon Bridges took over from former PM Sir Bill English in early 2018.
When he was running for leader in 2018, he told 1 NEWS he wanted his legacy if he were to become Prime Minister “to ensure New Zealand is a growing, dynamic, exciting place in the 2020s where people have opportunities”.
“I would like people to look back and be glad about the kind of New Zealand we have created together.”
“When I was a teen I liked to read about politics and got involved in the 1993 election and have never looked back, I believed then and still do in the values of the National Party,” he said at the time.