New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, who leads in opinion polls, will seek a third term at a general election on Sept. 20.
A September election will allow the winner to represent New Zealand at the G-20 leaders summit in Australia in November, Key told reporters in Wellington after announcing the date today. The timing also means that world leaders who have expressed an interest in visiting ahead of the summit can do so without arriving during an election campaign, he said, adding a visit from U.S. President Barack Obama is a possibility.
“I’m announcing the election date well in advance as I believe this gives New Zealanders some certainty and is in the country’s best interests,” Key, 52, said.
Key said he’ll campaign on the government’s economic track record, noting the strength of the recovery as some economists forecast growth of more than 4 percent this year. His National Party had 51 percent support in a poll for Television New Zealand’s One News last month, leading the main opposition Labour Party on 34 percent and the Green Party, which attracted 8 percent.
The previous two elections in 2008 and 2011 were held in November.