Bay of Plenty reacts to their MP Todd Muller replacing Simon Bridges as National leader

With Simon Bridges' electorate in Tauranga, and Todd Muller's in the Bay of Plenty, either decision on the National Party leadership could have been seen as a win for locals. 

Bridges and Muller faced off in Parliament on Friday - following a disastrous Newshub-Reid Research poll that showed Labour was on course to run away with the election - with Muller coming out on top.

But from Papamoa to Mt Maunganui, Bay of Plenty residents were picking up on the winds of change even before the decision was made.

While their neighbouring electorates sit side-by-side, locals at Bridges' end of the beach were anticipating a loss for the Tauranga MP.

"Won't be Simon Bridges, will it?" one woman told Newshub, while another wanted "just the status quo thanks - I'm staunch National".

Just hours later that status quo was shaken up, with a new leader in Muller and deputy in Nikki Kaye resulting in a new face for the National Party. 

And if New Zealanders thought that face wasn't familiar enough, the Bay of Plenty certainly didn't need any reminding who Todd Muller is.

"He's a local guy, I think he'll be good," one Bay of Plenty resident told Newshub.

"Perhaps he's been a bit quiet behind the scenes, but I think he's been a steady worker," another said.

Yet another said Muller would "get [the country] back up and running like John Key had".

As for outgoing leader Simon Bridges, there were a few thoughts spared from those within his Tauranga electorate.

"Got cut didn't he!" one local said. "Nah pretty gutted for Simon... I thought he was quite cool, but in terms of the elections I can see you gotta bring some sort of spice against Jacinda and Labour."

"Pretty bad for his ego," another reckoned. "I wouldn't want to be in his shoes, that's for sure."

One resident described him as a "nice guy but maybe not the right guy" - so if Simon Bridges isn't, is Todd Muller? 

"I'll decide in a couple of months," one said.

Four months, to be exact. 

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