Jonathan Coleman out of the leadership race

Jonathan Coleman out of the leadership race
Photo credit: Newshub

Jonathan Coleman has ruled himself out of the National Party leadership contest - though he didn't have much more to say about the matter on Thursday afternoon.

The former Health Minister told Newshub on Wednesday that he was considering running in the contest, but he's since had a change of heart.

Three candidates have announced their official bids: Judith Collins, Amy Adams and Simon Bridges.

Ms Collins is pitching herself as the hard-ball Opposition candidate that will come out fighting, while Amy Adams says she brings policy nous and compassion. Simon Bridges is running as a "new generation" of leadership.

Mark Mitchell and Steven Joyce may also be considering running for the leadership.

Speculation is unlikely to ease on Thursday - Mr Mitchell is in Australia attending his daughter's surf competition and Joyce is in Southland at Fieldays.