Bill English looks certain to be New Zealand’s next prime minister.
The deputy leader of the Nationals has secured the public support of 30 of the party’s MPs on Thursday – the majority needed to make him leader, Fairfax New Zealand reported.
English had received the backing of John Key, the prime minister since 2008, who announced his resignation on Monday. English had served as Key’s finance minister in three terms of government.
The decision was to be made at a meeting of the National caucus on Monday next week, which now looks to be only a formality.
English confirmed his intention to run on Tuesday. Jonathan Coleman, the health minister, and Judith Collins, the police minister, had also expressed interest in the leadership. But Collins pulled out of the race on Thursday afternoon and told her supporters to back English.
Only Coleman remains in contention. But the 30…