Who will be our next Prime Minister?

Bill English? He's the most likely choice, isn't he? He does have that monkey on his back from 2002, when under his leadership, National suffered its worst electoral defeat and English won just 20% of the vote.

But an hour is a long time in politics - 15 years is a lifetime. And English has become - surely - one of the world's most respected finance ministers. He has done a superb job of managing our economy in very trying times.

I think you'd see quite a bit of movement under English on issues such as child poverty.


He gets the economic implications, but I think he gets the social implications of child poverty and inequality as well. I also think he'll raise the retirement age. I've questioned him on that issue time and again - and he tip-toes around it.

A look back over John Key's rapid rise to power and his tumultuous three terms in office as Prime Minister, as he guided New Zealand through tragedy and change

Key's comment about the retirement age never going up under his leadership was a thorn in English's side, I think.

But if not English, who else?

Steven Joyce? No. He's the bully-boy of politics. He's rolled out when Labour or Winston needs a bit of a kicking.

Gerry Brownlee? Well, he's the same. He and Joyce are the two mafia dons of the national party. They're the bad boys from the east end who come out and rough up the opposition when they're getting a bit lippy.

Who else? Crusher. Judith Collins. You can't argue she'd make politics interesting. The issue for her, though, is that she doesn't have a whole lot of support in caucus. She is quite isolated, in that sense. Would she make a good PM? Yes, she would. She's experienced, she's confident, she wants the job. If English wasn't there, I think she'd be the front-runner. She was scarred too by dirty politics, and she resigned her cabinet positions before the 2014 election. There was that controversial Oravida dinner in China, too, but remember, she was cleared of any wrong-doing.

Amy Adams? Sound. Super smart. A very capable politician, but she's too similar to English. Straight. Proper. Measured. You need a bit of sass in there.

John Key tells the Herald's Claire Trevett what's behind his resignation

And so that brings me to Paula Bennett. She's a leader of the future, but not yet. It's too soon. If Bill English takes the top job, she'd be my pick for his deputy. He mentors her, they've worked together quite closely on a number of portfolios. She'd bring a bit of sass to the role, she's a good speaker, she's got a sense of humour. She'd be the ying in Bill English's yang, I reckon.


So that's my combination. English and Bennett. What's yours?