Twitter in la la land over new United Future leader Damian Light

  • 09/09/2017
Twitter in la la land over new United Future leader Damian Light
Photo credit: Getty/TVNZ

Damian Light might have been the freshest face at Friday night's minor parties debate, but that's not the only reason the new United Future leader caught viewers' attention.

The 34-year-old took over from Peter Dunne only two-and-a-half weeks ago, following the veteran Ōhāriu MP's shock decision to retire.

On Friday night Mr Light went head-to-head with ACT's David Seymour, the Māori Party's Marama Fox and James Shaw from the Greens.

It didn't take long for many to point out Mr Light bears a strong resemblance to Canadian actor Ryan Gosling, a detail that sent Twitter users into overdrive.

The interest around the young leader was enough to literally break the internet - or at least, the United Future website.

His name became a trending topic on Twitter as the debate played out.

Mr Light had never done a TV interview before appearing on The AM Show on Thursday morning. He says most voters won't even realise United Future still exists, blaming the media instead for "covering the Jacinda effect".

United Future registered 0.1 percent in the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll. Despite this, Mr Light took part in Friday's debate, while TOP leader Gareth Morgan was not invited to attend.

Mr Morgan, whose party polls between 1 and 2 percent, fought TVNZ's decision in court - and lost.