One thing we have learned about Simon Bridges in the 27 months since he became National Party leader, is that he is a scrapper.
A dirty little street fighter, is how his wife, Natalie Bridges described him in March last year when predictions of his demise were commonplace.
After tonight's dreadful poll results for National, 30.6 per cent compared to 56.5 per cent for Labour, panic will be starting to take hold in the National caucus and Bridges will be facing the fight of his life.
Bridges' supporters will be reminding them of what happened last year shortly after Natalie Bridges' comments.
• 'A tsunami of debt': National's Simon Bridges on Govt's $50b Budget
• Covid 19: PM Jacinda Ardern plans level 2 breakfast while Simon Bridges goes for a cut and carbs
• Budget 2020: Winston Peters gets snippy with Simon Bridges haircut jab
• Covid 19 coronavirus: National leader Simon Bridges fronts press before Question Time
Labour surged after Jacinda Ardern's acclaimed handling of the Christchurch massacre.
Labour surged to 50.8 per cent and National slumped to 37.4 per cent in the same poll as tonight's, the Newshub Reid Research poll. But within four months, the same polling company had National back in the lead and the 2020 election looking like a neck and neck contest.
That is the hope that Bridges' supporters will be clinging to – by their fingernails.
They will be hoping to convince the 15 list MPs and those in marginal seats that National can again recover within four months.
They will be arguing that a bloody leadership fight would drag the party down further than tonight's.
Audrey Young: National's uphill battle on crisis Budget
Audrey Young: Peters' diplomacy like a bull in a China shop
Audrey Young: An untidy week for PM as Covid response starts to fray
Polls as bad as this so close to an election tend to have a compounding effect. It is harder to recover from a tail spin the closer you are to an election.
But Bridges doesn't have what he had last year – time. In fact he may have only one week.
Parliament is in recess this week and the National Party caucus meets next Tuesday.
There is likely to be one more public poll, 1News' Colmar Brunton's, before then and if it also shows National set up for slaughter at the election, Bridges will be toast.
The only question is how much damage he does on the way out.
Bridges has survived for two reasons: he has held up the all-important party vote despite his failings, and there has been no clear replacement.
There is still no clear replacement; Judith Collins, Todd Muller, Mark Mitchell and possibly even deputy leader Paula Bennett could all be possibles.
It should also be remembered that four of Bridges' front bench are list MPs – Bennett, finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith, health spokesman Michael Woodhouse and Alfred Ngaro are list MPs and none would be returned to Parliament on current polling.
Asking them to pray for better poll results is not a survival strategy for Bridges.
Bridges has vowed to stay on as leader but leaders always say that until the moment they go – as did Andrew Little seven weeks out from the 2017 election when he stood aside for Ardern.
Once Bridges is convinced he has lost the confidence of his caucus he will either go gracefully, or go down fighting, but either way he seems set to go soon.