A look back at the memorable moments of the Simon Bridges-led National Party

After two years in the so-called "'worst job in Parliament", Simon Bridges is no longer leader of the Opposition.

Bridges is a fighter but on Friday, he signed out.

"It's been a heck of a ride and a rollercoaster really of highs and lows, and I can tell you the highs have been very high and the lows have been very low," Bridges told reporters.

It's been two years and three months since Bridges won National's last leadership battle. He'd gone from Tauranga Crown lawyer to Minister in the Beehive.

As the leader of the Opposition, it was a tough road. Within months Bridges' expenses were leaked to Newshub, racked up during a "Getting to know Simon" roadshow.

That leak sparked a manhunt and a spectacular fall-out with Jami-Lee Ross.

Simon Bridges.
Simon Bridges. Photo credit: Getty

Bridges fought through it - going hard on traditional National Party issues; the economy and law and order.

And who could forget National revealing elements of Budget 2019, after the Treasury failed to properly secure it?

And a king-hit to kick off 2020 - Bridges robbing Winston Peters of his "Kingmaker" position - ruling out New Zealand First as a potential coalition partner.

But Bridges struggled under COVID-19, with National polling at just 30.6 percent in Monday's Newshub-Reid Research poll. 

The poll also showed Bridges had fallen to 4.5 percent as preferred Prime Minister.

Ardern and Labour, meanwhile, were well on top. Labour 56.5 percent in the party standings and Ardern 59.5 percent as preferred Prime Minister.

 

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