Jenna Lynch: Gargantuan task ahead for next Labour leader as Jacinda Ardern steps down

ANALYSIS: Everything anyone thought about the upcoming election prior to Jacinda Ardern's shock resignation at 1pm on Thursday is now completely irrelevant. 

Whoever is chosen to be the next Labour leader has a gargantuan task ahead of them - rebuilding Labour's brand.

For the past five years, Labour has meant one thing and one person, Jacinda Ardern.

Labour's election campaign is now torn to shreds.

The party's main selling point - its experience in crisis - just got smashed out of its hands. 

Of the obvious contenders, Chris Hipkins is probably the natural choice - the one with the most name recognition. His familiarity would be a drawcard. 

But with the date now set in stone as October 14, the game has changed beyond recognition.

And now, the game is officially on. 

Jenna Lynch is Newshub's Political Editor.