Key’s resignation tops a turbulent year – 27-Dec-2016 – NZ Politics …

JOHN KEY STUNS THE NATION

Parliament was winding down for Christmas when Prime Minister John Key stunned the nation with his resignation announcement.

Only his deputy Bill English had known, and National’s caucus was astonished. They had expected Key to lead them into the 2017 general election, seeking a fourth term after maintaining his phenomenal personal popularity for eight years.

But Key decided he couldn’t see through another term, he had “used all the gas in the tank”, and it was time to go.

He left on a high, with National nudging 50 per cent in the polls, and his caucus elected English as his successor.

The first polls of the new year will indicate whether English and his reshuffled cabinet will be able to sustain the momentum built up over Key’s time in office.

Key’s departure will be the political event 2016 is best remembered for, but the year was well stocked with controversy, success

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