Todd Muller admits he's part of 'kaleidoscope of issues' that led National to devastating election result

Todd Muller says he was part of the "kaleidoscope of issues" the party faced that led to its devastating election loss.

Before heading into National's caucus meeting on Wednesday morning, the former party leader was asked whether he took any responsibility for the party's election result. National amassed just 26.8 percent of the preliminary vote and also lost 21 of its MPs. 

"I'm sure my name appears in the kaleidoscope of issues that the National Party have had over the last year," he told reporters.

Muller and former deputy leader Nikki Kaye rolled Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett in a leadership coup in May after party polling under the latter pair sat at just 30.6 percent, according to a Newshub-Reid Research poll at the time.

He only stayed as leader for 53 days - citing health problems as his reason for leaving - before Judith Collins took over with deputy leader Gerry Brownlee.

After stepping down he didn't return to Parliament - he only came back last week for the first time, following the election.

"But as everyone else has said, and I agree with them, there is a time for reflection and there's a time to get up off the canvas and rebuild. That's what our volunteers and party expect of us," he added.

Todd Muller.
Todd Muller. Photo credit: Getty Images

While he said he would've done things differently if given another chance, he believes now is the time for reflection and discussions with the National caucus.

There is still "very strong" support for Collins and Brownlee, despite the preliminary election result, he said.

"I think we have done really well in the last week in terms of the conversations we've had and the honesty we're sharing with each other. So yes, they absolutely have my support," he said.

"We are a team, now, that is much reduced, we have to be there for each other, we have to be there for the National Party and for the volunteers."