National's Simon Bridges confirms he's still leader

Simon Bridges has confirmed he's still leader of the National Party and brushed off speculation of a leadership challenge from National MP Judith Collins. 

Bridges confirmed his leadership after the National Party Caucus meeting on Tuesday, telling the media: "I am [still leader], and it feels good."

"I'm not going to talk about what happened, but I'm really confident. I've got a strong, united Caucus, and I'm rearing to get on with the job," Bridges said. 

"I'm really confident in my leadership and I'm really confident I've got a strong, united team."

Newshub has been told the numbers are firming for Collins to take the leadership role within National - a position she has previously put her hand up for. 

Collins announced her bid for leader of the National Party in February last year, along with Bridges, Amy Adams, Mark Mitchell and Jonathan Coleman. 

Bridges earlier on Tuesday refused to mention Collins by name, saying: "I trust my colleagues, and I'm not going to play these semantic silly games in the media."

He said: "Look, I always talk about three things: holding the Government to account, developing our plans and what we do there, and the need for discipline and unity - and today's no different."

Collins also played it cool, telling the media: "I am loyal to the National Party - the National Party of course is not a cult and I always support the leader and he was chosen as the leader just over a year ago so I absolutely support him."

But Collins refused to say she's loyal to Bridges specifically, telling Newshub: "I support the leader", when asked if she could say, 'I am loyal to Simon Bridges'.

National MPs Newshub spoke to on Tuesday showed support for Bridges, with Amy Adams telling Newshub: "I think the majority of the Caucus is very clear that we support Simon."

Her view was echoed by National MP Maggie Barry who said she "100 percent" supports Bridges and National MP Jacqui Dean who said she supports him. 

But National MPs have told Newshub they are not pleased with their leader's handling of the Jami-Lee Ross saga, the "emotional junior staffer" issue, and 'slushy-gate', among others.

A recent poll showed Bridges has dropped down to five percent as preferred Prime Minister - the lowest he had ever polled during his time as leader, and well-behind Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on 51 percent.

Despite the low poll results, Bridges has continuously expressed confidence in his leadership, telling Newshub earlier this month he would be National leader for the rest of the year.