6 Dec 2016

National MPs to consider who will replace John Key

From Morning Report, 7:10 am on 6 December 2016
Prime Minister John Key announces his resignation.

Prime Minister John Key announces his resignation. Photo: AFP / Office of the Prime Minister

The politicians vying to replace John Key will already be busy gauging their political support ahead of a National Party caucus meeting this morning to decide on the ground-rules for picking a new leader.

John Key's shock announcement yesterday afternoon that he will stand down as Prime Minister next Monday has unleashed a flood of speculation about who will succeed him.

Mr Key effectively shoulder-tapped the Deputy Prime Minister, Bill English.

Other senior MPs whose names have been floated as an eventual replacement are saying nothing publicly, though the Police Minister, Judith Collins, says she's not ruling out a tilt at the job.

Mr Key told Mr English in September he was planning to step down after eight years leading the country, but it seems no one else outside his family was in on the secret.

Politicians from across the spectrum said they were shocked by the announcement.

And the public's reaction has been one of surprise too.