COMMENT:

The question right now is how much of what Jami-Lee Ross has said is correct.

Simon Bridges says none of what he says is true.

But it looks like Ross may be on the mark about one thing - the $100,000 donation from Yikun Zhang.

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I asked Simon Bridges about that donation every which way I could and he didn't deny it:


Which means it probably was there, otherwise he would have said it wasn't there.

It doesn't mean Simon Bridges has done anything wrong necessarily. It doesn't mean he asked Jami-Lee Ross to split it up and hide it under false names as Ross claims.

But does it mean that Simon Bridges can't say convincingly that everything Jami-Lee Ross has said is wrong?

This National Party is in crisis right now. The only way this can go away is if Simon Bridges quits.

If he hangs in there, he will probably damage the party in ways they won't recover from in years.

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He needs to quit if he wants to save National from becoming exactly like Labour was during Opposition. You'll remember those days – Goff, Shearer, Cunliffe. It was nasty.

The reason I'm saying that is that JLR is not trying to destroy National, he's trying to destroy Bridges, and he is not going to stop until Bridges is gone.

Ross knows what he's doing. He's already dragging this debacle out over three days.

Yesterday, the tweet. Today, the press conference. Tomorrow, the cops and the audio recordings.

An amateur would slap it all down in one day. But a professional political hitter would drag it out over three.

He knows where the bodies are buried in National, he knows secrets about the party. He could keep dumping things for god knows how long.

Then we've got the byelection. And Ross is going to use that to run against Simon Bridges for about a month.

That's a long time for him to publically hammer Bridges at every turn.

So National has a leader who is the target of an angry guy who possibly knows secrets. Is that a good scenario? Nope!

It's simple. To save National, Bridges needs to quit.