Is Simon Bridges really trying to channel Donald Trump? Or is he taking his cue from Scott Morrison? Or is he looking to emulate Boris Johnson? Whatever the inspiration, there's been a clear change in the National Party leaders' political positioning and tactics in recent months that suggests he's decided to go down a more rightwing-populist path in the search for power.

This week's debate over the Government's proposed Parliamentary Budget Office gave yet another indication of this more Trump-like orientation. Covered in yesterday's column, Playing politics with proposals for an election policy watchdog , it is clear that


Raising questions about election legitimacy

Attacking Ardern as "a part-time PM"

National's other attack lines