Newshub-Reid Research poll suggests Christopher Luxon has long road to convince public he's National Party leadership material

Judith Collins isn't just facing competition from Simon Bridges for the leadership of the National Party - at some point former Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon wants a spin.

But according to the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll, he's got a long road ahead, not just to convince the public he's the man for the job, but for them to even know who he is.

Who is Christopher Luxon? The 51-year-old describes himself as "a good looking bald man, I'd say is what he is, yeah". 

He echoed his doppelganger National MP Matt Doocey on Tuesday morning, who when asked to describe Luxon in one word, said: "A good-looking bald man."

His other caucus colleagues have only good things to say. Barbara Kuriger described Luxon as "a really cool guy", Andrew Bayly classed him as "a good friend and colleague", while Nicola Willis said Luxon is "excellent". 

The former Air New Zealand CEO wants to be Prime Minister one day, so the latest Newshub-Reid Research poll asked people to describe Luxon in one word. The bigger the word, the more it came up - and there's a theme running through the top responses. 

Newshub-Reid Research poll suggests Christopher Luxon has long road to convince public he's National Party leadership material

When asked to describe himself in one word, Luxon said: "Big picture thinker."

But that's three words.

"That's three words," he acknowledged. "I'd like to make it 'strategic', Tova."

'Strategic' is an interesting choice of words, especially given Newshub understands former Prime Minister Sir John Key has been urging Luxon to be strategic and bide his time for National's leadership until after the next election. 

Luxon denies being approached by his caucus colleagues about potential leadership. 


While Luxon waits in the wings, the conventional parliamentary wisdom is that Bridges will have a go first. The big question is when, and no one knows better than Bridges that it requires patience to get the timing just right.

So, there are at least two people waiting just behind Collins - a leader watching her back.

Collins certainly didn't raise leadership at National's caucus meeting on Tuesday, nor did her MPs - and it won't come up until they're ready to roll.

Luxon will have a crack at the leadership, but timing is everything, and as you heard, he's strategic. 

If National loses the next election, which it would on current polling, that's the moment to strike, rather than go now and lead the party into potential defeat.

But the flipside is, if it's name recognition you're after, there's no better way to get it than to be the leader.