New Zealand is set to hold its next Parliamentary election in September. The country's two biggest political parties - the National Party and the Labour Party - are gearing up for the race.

Not that long ago, things were seeming quite promising for the National Party. Polls numbers were grim for Labour's incumbent Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. But what has so far seemed to be deft handling of COVID-19 has given Labour a big boost. With about four months to go, the Nationals have taken drastic action.

Simon Bridges ousted as leader, replaced by Todd Muller

Simon Bridges had been the leader of the National Party since 2018.

This also made him the leader of the Official Opposition in New Zealand's Parliament. But he now no longer holds either position.

The Nationals have ousted Bridges in favor of Todd Muller. A move that has been received positively by many. Including by Newstalk ZB, who indicated a belief that the Nationals will fare much better in the election under Muller.

Despite not currently being in power, the Nationals actually have the most seats in Parliament. In the last election, the National Party under then-Prime Minister Bill English won the most seats. However, Ardern and Labour struck a coalition with the controversial politician Winston Peters and his nationalistic party NZ First. The numbers were enough to make Ardern the next prime minister.

The National Party also selected a new deputy leader in Nikki Kaye. Kaye's portfolio includes serving as the minister of civil defense and of education when the Nationals were in power. MSN indicates that the Muller-Kaye pairing will likely lead the Nationals in a centrist direction.

Muller has been in Parliament since 2014

Todd Muller has sped through the ranks in the New Zealand House of Representatives. He was first elected to his seat in 2014. He represents the electorate of Bay of Plenty. The electorate is located on the North Island in the Tauranga region. Muller succeeded long-time parliamentarian, Tony Ryall.

Ryall had been minister of health when he opted not to run for re-election.

In 2019, Muller indirectly helped cause a stir in pop culture. He and fellow MP Chloe Swarbrick were in an exchange involving climate change and economics. At one point, they disagreed about what the average age the members of Parliament were. Swarbrick responded to a comment from Muller with: 'OK Boomer.' While some liked her response and others did not, the phrase caught on fast. It has since become a widely-used catchphrase.

During the 1990s, Muller was a member of the staff of Prime Minister Jim Bolger. Bolger endorsed him in his bid to become the National Party's leader. Outside of politics, Muller's pursuits have largely been in the agriculture business.

He has held high-level posts with the kiwifruit company Zesperi and the dairy co-operative Fonterra.

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