Simon Bridges has cemented his position as a top contender in the race to be the next leader of the National Party.

The Tauranga MP's announcement yesterday that he is putting himself forward to be the leader of the party came as no surprise.

Political commentators were quick to put his name at the top of their list as a potential leader In the immediate aftermath of Bill English's resignation

Bridges yesterday described himself as the leader of generational change and fresh new ideas. He joins Judith Collins in officially entering the leadership race.


His resume backs up the sales pitch.

The 41-year-old former Crown prosecutor has held a raft of senior portfolios, including energy, labour, transport and economic development and communications.

"All of that gives me the experience, the acumen, and the drive to do this job very well," he said yesterday.

While he was unsuccessful in his bid to be deputy leader last year, he has proven to be a strong voice in the Opposition benches, launching a series of telling attacks on the new Government.

His decisions to date show he is willing to play the long game - and has the ability to match it with popular Labour leader Jacinda Adern.

He says other MPs had encouraged him to put his name forward, and though he could not say whether he has the numbers to win, he has "strong support".

He will face strong competition in the race for the leadership but it's fair to say he has made a very decisive start.