Nats give leader ovation

Parliament's new National MPs attended their first caucus meeting today with some looking nervous and others looking positively ecstatic.

For obvious reasons National MPs gave a standing ovation as their leader John Key, his deputy Bill English and party president Judith Kirk entered the room.

It was a crowded caucus room with 16 new MPs joining the 43 returning incumbents in addition to retiring MPs Katherine Rich, Clem Simich and Mark Blumsky.

The young new MP for Auckland Central, Nikki Kaye, looked a bit nervous as she momentarily took a wrong turn before being guided through the media and into the safety of the caucus room.

Mr Key's triumphant entry today was very different to when he first entered Parliament just six year ago.

In 2002 National had just come off its worst election result, and had just 27 MPs.

Mr Key has described how he entered the building elated at his election victory, but quickly had the wind taken out of his sails when he saw the despair and dejection on his new colleagues faces.

It was a different story today, his new MPs come in as part of a large caucus and the government.

Mr Key said they would be excited and he would be telling them to get focused on the issues very quickly.

Asked if one of the new intake could succeed him within six years, Mr Key said "They could be, it would require deposing the current leader, but he'll get over it like politicians eventually do."

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