He resigned. And retired. Such is the nature of MMP that as a list MP he will be replaced by the next person on the National Party List. No by-election to worry about.
It’s not like the writing wasn’t on the wall since October last year when he realized he’d lost the election by winning it. Of course, a plurality ain’t a majority, and 44 seats is not enough to govern.
Since then Bill English has had plenty of time to think, and so has his restful caucus. The media reported that it wasn’t a question of if he would go, but when. Journalist Jane Bowron wrote a piece recently saying that he would go, but not yet. He said, “hold my beer,” and quit today.
Not surprising that this was coming, and it looked imminent judging by the omens on his twitter feed:
Two dinosaurs, and a knife wielding Amy Adams to boot.
Road to nowhere. Directionless. Nowhere to run too.
So, the one time PM who has been in parliament for my entire lifetime has bowed out. It is not for me to eulogise him, I’ll leave that to the Hooton’s and Hosking’s. This is definitely the right time to go, opposition is no fun when you are up against a pregnant PM who can do no wrong. Besides, the Prime Ministerial pension plus whatever salary comes with the certain board position will be a nice distraction for the chap who once put spaghetti on a pizza.