SYDNEY (Reuters) - New Zealand’s main opposition party named a new leader two months before a general election following Tuesday’s surprise resignation of the previous party leader, who had been in the role just over 50 days.
The conservative National Party elected four-time member of parliament Judith Collins to take on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party in a September election that is expected to be dominated by coronavirus-related issues.
Recent opinion polls have predicted that Labour could govern on its own, without a coalition, helped by the soaring popularity of Ardern.
Collins, an admirer of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, has a tough job on her hands as she will need to convince voters to go against Ardern.
Ardern in one recent poll was named the country’s most popular prime minister in a century.
Todd Muller, who became opposition leader in May, resigned citing health reasons and said he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Tom Hogue