OPINION: Simon Bridges is an 'old-school' National party leader. Raised through the Young Nationals and then moving into the mainstream of the party and being a part of the Party's influential rules committee has seen him both understand and work from the inside of politics.
That's a firm base to start from when it comes to cementing his leadership status from a party perspective.
He knows that to make changes, you must start with the party. He will look at the policy advisory groups (PAGs) within National and will push for new thinking. He will work hard behind the scenes building the machine he needs for the election.
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His experience at both a party level and in mainstream politics, coupled with his legal brain, means that his understanding of the legislative process and protocols will see a more adroit approach to the debating chamber. The Government will be kept on their toes at both the policy level and in the debating chamber.
And, while this may not be immediately effective in the arena of public polls, it will, over time, grind down the Government on policy and process. And that's a killer for any government.
Getting the front bench right, bringing through talent and promoting the new thinkers will further underpin his leadership.
Getting the party right, getting policy right and getting the Parliamentary processes right, while not exciting, are the integral parts of bringing a Government down.
If he looks a winner in the debating chamber, and has the party working together then over the next year and a half, he'll be in a strong position.
But, the final part is the bit that Kiwis love. They want the personality and ethos of their leaders to shine – the "leadership vibe" so to speak.
And it's all about the vibe.
Chris Simpson is a former National Party general manager and current Newshub Nation panelist.