Radio NZ has prepared a list of contenders for John Key’s job:
Prime Minister John Key’s surprise announcement that he is standing down, after 10 years at the helm of the National Party and nearly nine as PM, will have the contenders jockeying for position before the caucus vote on 12 December.
Mr Key said whoever was chosen as the next leader would have his “unwavering support”, but if his right-hand man – Deputy Prime Minister Bill English – put his name forward, he would support his bid.
Mr Key and Mr English have been the closest of partners but there will likely be challengers from the caucus.
Here’s a quick rundown of who might consider themselves leadership material:
A former leader of the National Party in the early noughties, Mr English has been a steady hand on the economic tiller and Deputy Prime Minister since 2008. He knows politics inside out – having been an MP since 1990 – and has held a number of other high-profile positions including Minister for Infrastructure and Leader of the Opposition.
Speaking at a media stand-up this afternoon, Mr English refused to be drawn on whether he would seek the leadership, saying he needed to talk to his family and members of the caucus first.
But Mr English said he will probably announce his decision tomorrow and wanted to make sure he had enough caucus support.
Mr English, who led the National Party to its worst election defeat in 2002, said he had learned a lot since then.