The candidates who could succeed Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister of New Zealand

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The shock resignation of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday has led New Zealand’s ruling Labor Party to search for a new leader.

Ardern said on Thursday she was “out of the tank” to continue leading the country and would step down and not seek re-election by early February at the latest.

It is unclear who will become prime minister until the election. Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson has announced that he will not contest the leadership of the Labor Party, throwing open the competition.

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There will be a Labor Party vote for a new leader on Sunday; the party leader remains prime minister until the next general election. Ardern’s term as leader will expire no later than February 7 and a general election will be held on October 14.

In a Kantar poll published in December, Labor polled 33 percent, up from 40 percent at the start of 2022. That meant Labor could not maintain a majority even with its traditional coalition partner, the Green Party, at 9 percent.

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In addition, the party’s previous strict Covid-19 rules, water infrastructure policies, a move to tax methane emissions from cattle and sheep — hitting the country’s dominant agricultural industry — and discussions of co-governance with Maori have sparked controversy. .

“The fact is, she’s a polarizing figure now,” said Grant Duncan, a professor at Massey University.

Ardern most likely stepped down to give the Labor Party a chance to refresh and reposition itself ahead of the October election, experts said.

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“There is an opportunity for a Labor leader to come in and kind of reset the Labor Party to one that focuses on the issues that voters are focused on – cost of living, inflation and getting wage earners more of get their share of their income.” the wealth,” said Josie Pagani, a former Labor candidate.

Here are four Labor Party legislators who could become Prime Minister:

Chris Hipkins