Tova O'Brien: Out with a bang! Paula Bennett resigns with an almighty dig at National's new leadership

Paula Bennett has announced her resignation from the National Party with an almighty dig at the new leadership team, and her departure has compounded National's problem with its Pākehā top 20.

Bennett danced her way out of politics with Tom Sainsbury, the comedian who cut his chops impersonating her. The comedian uploaded a video to his Facebook page impersonating Bennett's resignation just after it was announced. 

"F you to the National Party," Sainsbury says in his impersonation of Bennett. "Sayonara Todd - a big F your... no, I'm not going to say that I'm going to keep it civil."

At the end of the skit the real Bennett appears, dancing around in celebration with Sainsbury  - an overt endorsement of an overt message about her being rolled by National's new leadership team of Todd Muller and Nikki Kaye.

It constitutes one of the most epic political power moves.

It also turns out Bennett told Sainsbury she was quitting before she even told her boss, overshadowing his big speech planned for Monday. 

Though Bennett insists it's not a vote of no confidence in Muller.

"Not at all," she told reporters on Monday. "This is me probably being selfish for the first time in 15 years."

Based on Bennett's dancing kimono video to Gloria Gaynor's hit "I Will Survive", it's one less person who doesn't rate Todd Muller gone from his caucus - but that doesn't mean the caucus is united.

National MPs are still leaking to Newshub. At last week's caucus, Muller apparently didn't show MPs their internal party polling, something Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett got a lot of flack for.

National MPs told Newshub National MP Gerry Brownlee told the caucus that the party was sitting at around 35 percent. 

And apparently that's where the party was under Bridges just one week before the coup.

If that's the case, those numbers are troublesome for Muller, and the fact that MPs are still leaking at all... double trouble. Tuesday is another caucus and Muller's not ruling out showing MPs polling then. 

Muller says the polls are monthly but under Bridges the party received weekly updates. 

Bennett was the first female Māori to become Deputy Prime Minister.

When Muller rolled her and former leader Simon Bridges in May, it knocked two Māori MPs out of the leadership - and with Bennett gone (and not counting Paul Goldsmith) the diversity situation just got worse.

Bennett, when asked if it's a problem that her departure means there will be only one Māori MP in the National Party's top 20, she smiled and said it's "something for the leader to look at".

Muller is now suggesting a mini-reshuffle is on the cards - bringing up a Māori MP from further down the ranks, "Let's just see how the next few days unfold."

As for whether former party leader Simon Bridges could end up being the Māori MP in National's top 20, Muller remained tight-lipped.

"I've got all sorts of reflections over the next 48 hours."

Bridges told Newshub he's sad to see Bennett go.

"She's irreplaceable and I think not only me but a lot of New Zealanders will be really sad to see her and miss her from political life."

Bennett's leaving hot on the heels of another senior National MP Anne Tolley - a tiny exodus post-coup from those who can't work under the new leadership. 

Tova O'Brien is Newshub's political editor.