The serious contenders for National Party leadership after Todd Muller's resignation

The National Party is in crisis after Todd Muller's resignation - blindsided, bloodied and bruised - but there are some serious contenders for the leadership position. 

In the maelstrom following the abrupt and disorienting departure of the latest National Party leader, senior National MP Judith Collins kept her cool when Newshub spoke to her ahead of her flight to Wellington. 

"It's my moment to focus on my caucus," Collins said. 

Watch the Newshub Special on the National Party leadership crisis live tonight from 7.30pm on

You heard right: "my caucus". Was it a Freudian slip or prophecy? Perhaps it was both. 

Newshub asked Collins if she is the woman to take on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. 

"Well, I'm certainly a member of the wonderful National Party team and I'm happy to be so," she said. 

But Collins is extremely likely to have competition. Newshub has been talking to National MPs who are convinced former National Party leader Simon Bridges will have another crack. 

"They're difficult discussions at a difficult time and we need to have them as a caucus and make those decisions on the basis of who we think is best to lead us," Bridges told reporters. 

After the brutal coup that took him out 53 days ago, Bridges has been a picture of chill, campaigning around the country like he's still leader and posting a lot on social media with yaks.

Until he was rolled, Bridges was dead-certain he was the person to lead National to a victory. But Todd Muller and his deputy Nikki Kaye obviously had other ideas - and Amy Adams un-resigned to join them. 

Now Kaye is acting leader and Adams her key ally. 

Newshub asked Kaye if she and Adams will be running on a ticket together. 

"I think we need to work through a process," Kaye said. "I have huge respect for my caucus colleagues and I think we need to have this meeting tonight."

She's not ruling out the idea. That makes about half a dozen key National MPs not ruling out a run for the leadership. 

Newshub asked Collins if she would rule it out. 

"I'm just going to have those discussions in caucus," she said. 

Sixty-seven days out from the election this is a seismic shock for the National Party. There's a lot to change - and a lot yet to come. 

MPs agreed in their urgent caucus conference on Tuesday morning to keep their mouths shut until after the evening crisis caucus meeting. 

National MP Paul Goldsmith wouldn't comment on whether he would back his former leader Bridges. 

"I'm not going to comment on any of that yet."

National MP Gerry Brownlee wouldn't say if he would back Collins. 

"Caucus will make a determination and the public will make a decision on that on 19 September."

National MP Nick Smith also wouldn't say if he'd back Collins, either. 

"Oh, look, I don't want to comment on that."

National MP Andrew Falloon didn't give anything away. 

"I'll get behind the leader."

National MP Simon O'Connor said a Bridges comeback is a possibility. 

"Oh, I think there's always a possibility. I think a number of people will put their hat in the ring."

There sure are. So close to an election there's nothing to lose. It's gloves off and whoever wins has a far tougher fight on their hands.