What National Party MPs are saying about former leader Simon Bridges on Facebook

Several National Party MPs have taken to social media to reveal what they think about former leader Simon Bridges after he was ousted by fellow MP Todd Muller.

Muller became the Opposition leader following the results of a Newshub-Reid Research poll earlier in the week that showed the party at 30.6 percent under Bridges' leadership, and Bridges' favourability for Prime Minister at only 4.5 percent. After an emergency caucus meeting on Friday, Muller became the party's leader and Nikki Kaye his deputy.

Bridges was the leader for just over two years, and some National MPs have posted messages on Facebook to farewell his leadership.

Muller, in both his maiden speech as leader and in a Facebook post, thanked Bridges and former deputy leader Paula Bennett for the way they served the party.

"Simon has worked hard as leader, given the job his all, and the caucus is grateful for his service.

"Both he and Paula have served the party and our country well."

MP Michael Woodhouse says Bridges and Bennett took on "the hardest jobs in politics" and he wanted to thank them for doing that.

"Politics can be a rough ride and, while Simon is no longer National's leader, no one who knows him well doubts his work ethic and passion for this country and the National Party. As we look positively to the future I do want to acknowledge Simon and Paula's time in the hardest jobs in politics."

Invercargill MP Sarah Dowie says Bridges stood behind her during "one of the most vulnerable times of my life" - presumably while she was under police investigation over an alleged text she sent to former National MP Jami-Lee Ross, telling him "you deserve to die".

"Simon has an incredible work ethic and has weathered immense pressure as the leader of the Opposition - but it's more than that. Simon stood behind me at one of the most vulnerable times of my life. And while many will have uninformed opinions of that - he is one of the best men I know. And for his friendship - I am grateful."

MP Alfred Ngaro thanked Bridges and Bennett for how they served the party.

"The leader of the Opposition is the toughest job in Parliament and [Bridges] fought and served for over two years. We thank you both for your service and commitment to the country and also to the National Party."

Finally, MP Brett Hudson says he's "proud" to call Bridges his friend.

"He is an incredibly hard-working, capable man, dedicated to the success of New Zealanders.

"His resilience in the face of extraordinary circumstances over the term of his leadership is quite astounding."