Former National leader Simon Bridges is the first candidate to firm up their intention to run in the race to be the next leader of the party, filling the vacancy left by Judith Collins.
Bridges said he was weighing up a tilt on Thursday. By midday Friday it is clear he has decided to run.
Bridges is not making any comments about the bid.
Other candidates are said to include new MP Chris Luxon, and frequent contender Mark Mitchell - although Mitchell was said to be unlikely to contest the leadership if Bridges decided to run.
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Covid-19 spokesman Chris Bishop and housing spokeswoman Nicola Willis round out the field. The pair are friends and political allies, but recognise they could never run on the same ticket - how the pair manage a contest between them is unclear.
MPs spoken to by the Herald on Friday said the contest appeared to be between Bridges who is a known quantity but possibly damaged by the events of the last week, and someone else who would have less baggage, but is untested.