Duncan Garner: Simon Bridges isn't looking like a future Prime Minister

Opinion 31/07/2019

You gotta hand it to Simon Bridges - he's gutsy and he's still there.

For two years, he's been ridiculed and targeted, first by his own party who may have wanted him gone, but the truth is none of them could get organised. Then he was judged and mocked by the non-judgemental loving Greens for having a poor lazy accent and for not being green enough, but he's there.

National is mid-40s and you simply can't roll a leader at mid-40s. 

But he's personally unconvincing and awkward, and if Jacinda Ardern is inexperienced and at times out of her depth and missing in action, then Simon gets close to good, but doesn't quite nail it. 

I mean, really, Jacinda Ardern is a part-time Prime Minister? 

No Prime Minister is part-time. It's a damn awful job.

I've seen these Prime Ministers up close and personal, and frankly, you can have it. 5am starts,10pm finishes, all the public pressure and garbage in between.

Part time? Wrong approach, wrong description. Also, it's an unwritten rule you don't single out MPs for when they are and aren't at Parliament. But that's Simon, just slightly off the mark. But he's clearly getting under their skin and that's his job. 

I actually think Simon is settling into the role. Economy on the blink helps too. 

But I just can't see him as Prime Minister. I can't see him and Winston working together.

I can't see Kiwis rushing to the polls for Simon Bridges. No one in the history of all polls in New Zealand, I think, has ever become Prime Minister from a position of six percent. Basically you have to be likeable, and Simon is. But just not as much as the other person on offer.

But that's the game - strange game, strange rules - some people just have it.

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.