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(07/14/07) -

New Zealand Wants Key as Prime Minister

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many people in New Zealand would like John Key to be the country’s head of government, according to a poll by Colmar Brunton released by One News. 35 per cent of respondents would prefer to have the leader of the opposition National party as prime minister, down three points since May.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Many people in New Zealand would like John Key to be the country’s head of government, according to a poll by Colmar Brunton released by One News. 35 per cent of respondents would prefer to have the leader of the opposition National party as prime minister, down three points since May.

Labour leader and current prime minister Helen Clark is second with 29 per cent, followed by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters with just two per cent.

Clark has acted as New Zealand’s prime minister since December 1999. In November 2006, Don Brash—who had served as National’s leader since October 2003—announced his resignation and was substituted by finance spokesman Key.

In the September 2005 ballot, Labour elected 50 lawmakers to the 121-seat House of Representatives, and assembled a coalition government with the Progressives. United Future and New Zealand First agreed to support the administration in confidence and supply votes for three years. National finished second, with 48 legislators.

In late June, Key traveled to the United States to discuss a free trade agreement with government officials. Key said the chances of reaching a deal are slim because the U.S. Congress is controlled by the Democratic Party, adding, “We emphasized that we see New Zealand’s strength in the area of the environment and labour laws, which are two areas of considerable concern of the Democratic Congress that would weigh in our favour.”

Polling Data

Who would you prefer as prime minister?

Jul. 2007

May 2007

Apr. 2007

John Key (Nat.)

35%

38%

29%

Helen Clark (Lab.)

29%

27%

37%

Winston Peters (NZF)

2%

2%

3%

Source: Colmar Brunton / One News
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 1,000 New Zealand voters, conducted Jun. 30 to Jul. 5, 2007. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.