'No way' anyone wants to roll Simon Bridges - Mark Mitchell

One of the MPs Simon Bridges had to fend off for the National Party leadership says he's happy with his former rival's performance.

Mark Mitchell was the first to drop out of the leadership race, pulling out before voting amongst the party caucus began. He told The AM Show on Friday morning Mr Bridges has been "doing very well".

"He's been focused on doing public meetings around the country. I think I was with him yesterday in Brown's Bay, I think it was his 70th public meeting. The place was packed, it was the Brown's Bay Bowling Club, to capacity, people right out the back.

"He's just getting around the country and he's listening."

The public might not be convinced, however. In an unscientific poll for The AM Show run on the Newshub website, as of 9:30am 65 percent of respondents said Mr Bridges wasn't doing a good job.

The last scientific Newshub-Reid Research poll in May had him on 9 percent as preferred Prime Minister, well behind Jacinda Ardern but ahead of Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters.

But Mr Mitchell says no one - not him, not Judith Collins either - will be trying to roll Mr Bridges before the 2020 election.

"No way... everyone's 100 percent behind him and the party's mobilised. I think we're doing a pretty good job in Opposition. We've taken our job very seriously."

The AM Show
Mark Mitchell and James Shaw. Photo credit: The AM Show

The AM Show host Duncan Garner reminded Mr Mitchell the reason National didn't form the Government last year, despite being the largest party, is a lack of potential coalition partners. Mr Mitchell said that could change, hinting the Greens might be ready for the mythical 'teal deal'.

"There's lots of different options and anything could happen. James [Shaw, Green Party co-leader] would, James would work with us. He's far more pragmatic. He knows we've got very strong credentials around the environment, but he would have to take his membership with him, and that would be a tough sell for him."

Mr Shaw, appearing alongside Mr Mitchell on The AM Show, wasn't so sure.

"I'm pretty happy with our Government we've got now. I'm sorry Mark, love you as I do."

Mr Shaw said he had no problems with how Mr Peters has been handling the top job in Ms Ardern's absence.

"It's been fine. To be honest, I've been pretty focused on the Zero Carbon Bill consultation and just getting on with my job, really… This is the nature of things - as long as everyone's getting along and doing their job properly."

Ms Ardern is on a brief maternity break after giving birth to her first child in June.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: