National MPs flock to get selfies with Sir John Key

A political commentator believes putting Sir John Key back in the spotlight is a calculated move from National.

Leader Simon Bridges has used the party's annual conference to herald a new video and motto - promising a focus on "you".

But Facebook posts from National MPs on Saturday put the focus squarely on the former Prime Minister, who led the party to three thumping election victories before retiring from politics

Nikki Kaye, Nicola Wilis, Dan Bidois, Hamish Walker, Simeon Brown, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Matt Doocey, Matt King and even Bridges himself were amongst those posting selfies on Facebook with Sir John on Saturday.

"Bringing him in always had that risk, but on the other hand Simon Bridges clearly wanted John Key's endorsement as leader - and so there was a bit of a fine line to walk there," Massey University's Grant Duncan told Newshub.

He said National is using its "mini-rebrand" to divert attention away from the question of leadership. Bridges has been struggling in the preferred Prime Minister polls, languishing in single-digits, even as his party remains fairly popular with voters.

Duncan says they are keen to switch the focus from Bridges to the issues.

"They're obviously wanting to play to their strengths in this case, which is more about policy than the way in which the leader resonates with the public."

But they could perhaps do with a better slogan than "the bottom line is you", he says. 

"I thought it a little bit strange. I'm not sure what Simon Bridges' bottom line actually is."

National on Sunday morning announced it will set up a $200 million cancer agency. 



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