The New Zealand National Party on Friday elected Todd Muller as its new leader ahead of the September elections to try to wrest the government from the Labor Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, whose popularity has soared due to her management in the face of the pandemic. of COVID-19.
Muller, who ousted Simon Bridges in a closed-door election within the National Party, will have Nikki Kaye as number two, according to the political formation announced on his Twitter account.
“There is no Todd team, nor is there a Nikki team, or anyone else, there is only the National team,” said this legislator with extensive executive experience in the agribusiness sector, trying to encourage his co-religionists ahead of the elections scheduled for 19 of September.
The National Party, which groups the conservative and liberal sectors of both the country and the city of the country, has 29 percent of support, the lowest in 15 years, according to the Colman-Brunton survey released on Thursday by the TVNZ channel, compared to 59 percent collected by Ardern Labor.
Likewise, another Newshub-Reid agency survey published this week ranked Ardern as the preferred president by 59.5 percent of those surveyed compared to 4.5 percent who supported Bridges.
These poor results of the opposition leader until today accelerated the change of leadership in the National Party that before the pandemic was even in the race for the next mandate.
“It has been a hell of a ride, a real rollercoaster ride, with ups and downs,” Bridges said at a press conference when speaking of his work as an opposition leader.
With the crisis sparked by COVID-19, Ardern, who currently rules in coalition with the New Zealand First and Green Parties, has skyrocketed his chances of revalidating the mandate.
If they kept up their popularity, Ardern and his party could even rule alone with, according to projections, 72 of the 120 MPs.
New Zealand, with just over 1,000 infected, including 21 deaths, has been one of the most successful countries in fighting the virus and after applying severe measures of confinement to its population.