Key will serve full second term

Matthew Hooton has written in NBR (offline):

As a rumour, it’s surprisingly prevalent.

  Just as he wanted to be a successful businessman, but not necessarily the world’s wealthiest, John Key wanted to be prime minister, but not necessarily the longest-serving.

  After achieving the top job, he would serve a few years before going out on a high.

  According to the theory, Mr Key would hand over to Steven Joyce sometime before the 2014 election.

This gets pushed a lot, mainly I suspect by Labour. There is a degree of truth to it. I don’t think John Key is obsessed with staying Prime Minister for as long as possible, and I think he could well retire before he loses an election.

However I’ve never thought he would not contest the 2014 election, and seek a third term (if he gets a second). Anyway Matthew asked Key the question about 2014:

When I asked Mr Key specifically this week if he intended to serve a full second term and lead National into the 2014 election, he barely bothered with the usual platitudes about “taking one election at a time” or “serving at the pleasure of the party and the public.”

His answer was not arrogant but it was unequivocal: yes, that was exactly his intention.

So that’s one little rumour we can put to bed.

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