NZ opposition replaces leader to face Ardern in election

The NZ PM has proved so popular during the pandemic, that it has prompted a change in the conservative opposition party just four months from the election.

23/05/2020 7:28:00 AM

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has proved so popular during the COVID-19 pandemic that it has prompted a leadership change in the conservative opposition party ahead of the September election

The NZ PM has proved so popular during the pandemic, that it has prompted a change in the conservative opposition party just four months from the election.

Wellington:New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has proved so popular during the coronavirus pandemic that it has prompted a change of leadership in the conservative opposition party just four months from a general election.Todd Muller on Friday deposed Simon Bridges as leader of the National Party following two disastrous opinion polls for the party that indicated Ardern was headed for a huge victory in September.

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Popular: Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern.Credit:Getty ImagesMuller, 51, is not a household name in New Zealand but has support from other lawmakers and farmers. He was a manager at a kiwifruit company and a dairy company before he was first elected to Parliament in 2014. He had been acting as the opposition spokesperson for agriculture.

Before the pandemic hit, polling indicated the National Party and Ardern's Labour Party were running neck-and-neck. But Ardern's leadership since then has been praised, while Bridges' criticism of some of her actions appeared to be turning away even some of National's longtime supporters.

AdvertisementArdern took bold steps when the virus arrived, closing the border and putting the country under a strict lockdown with a motto: "Go hard and go early". Her goal of eliminating the virus has been largely successful, with only two new infections reported over the past six days.

New NZ National Party leader Todd Muller holds a press conference with his deputy Nikki Kaye after deposing Simon Bridges.Credit:APArdern's government has also announced a huge program of borrowing and spending as it attempts to keep unemployment below 10 per cent in the wake of the pandemic.

Following a week of internal rumblings, National's caucus met on Friday and elected Muller as the party's new leader and lawmaker Nikki Kaye as the new deputy. Kaye, 40, replaces Paula Bennett.Muller said he thought Ardern was "very impressive" and handled the health crisis well. But he said the problem with her government was that the talent pool was shallow and ill-equipped to deal with the huge economic challenges ahead.

"Our fundamental view is that this country has in front of it an economic crisis, the scale of which we have never seen in our lifetime," Muller said.Muller this year voted against a landmark bill to treat abortion as a health issue rather than a crime, a decision he said was informed by his Catholic faith. Kaye, who is considered more socially liberal that Muller, voted in favour of the bill, which passed 68-51.

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Yeah right wait till they start counting the cost RikoStevens Uh-oh! MSMWatchdog2013 Can she take over from slomo The UK and USA could learn a lot from Jacinda. johnlittle Would love Australia to have such a genuine, intelligent & empathetic leader, alas, we do not. NZ are just so fortunate to have jacindaardern

I will truly believe in politics when an opposition says look we don't believe we could do any better than the incumbent ' ...when faced with epic unemployment and wealth destruction, popularity soon gives way to practicality...popularity and celebrity are one and the same - epic vacuity... Probably more accurate to say that the leader of the opposition has been an embarrassment for a long time and there's an election coming up.

Behold, the poster-child of communism. ItCanBeBigSisterTooYouKnow You watching M_McCormackMP

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Alan Jones sanctioned over Jacinda Ardern comments, 'inaccurate' reportingOutgoing Sydney radio 2GB host Alan Jones has been taken to task by the industry regulator over comments he made on-air about climate change and Jacinda Ardern. I'm sure he's really cut up about that ....... He was a serial offender with no one to stop him including the industry regulator. I for one is glad that he is gone. Climate Change is a fraud. Nothing wrong with calling that out. Parting shot from the lefty flog SBS news. What percentage of the Australia population has the same views as expressed by SBS? I'm guessing about 15%. For that number you shouldn't get any public funding whatsoever.

New Opposition leader elected in NZ after emergency caucus meeting | Sky News AustraliaNew Zealand Opposition leader Simon Bridges has been replaced Todd Muller in an emergency caucus meeting, prompted by the National party's plummeting popularity.\n\nPrime MinisterJacinda Ardern will face a new opponent at September's election. \n\nMr Muller said he was about what was best for individuals and their families and praised the Ardern government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.\n\nImage: Getty DrainSwampNZ National and Labour not the solution they are part of the problem RiggedElectionsNZ Oh you mean by the fake poll DeepStateCoup National turns left

New Opposition leader elected in NZ after emergency caucus meeting | Sky News AustraliaNew Zealand Opposition leader Simon Bridges has been replaced Todd Muller in an emergency caucus meeting, prompted by the National party's plummeting popularity.\n\nPrime MinisterJacinda Ardern will face a new opponent at September's election. \n\nMr Muller said he was about what was best for individuals and their families and praised the Ardern government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.\n\nImage: Getty DrainSwampNZ National and Labour not the solution they are part of the problem RiggedElectionsNZ Oh you mean by the fake poll DeepStateCoup National turns left

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