Luxon was elected an MP last year. He has by all accounts got the top job far sooner than he was planning, after Judith Collins destroyed her leadership with an attempt to take down her rival, former leader Simon Bridges, last week.
Key became prime minister after a third-term government led by Labour’s Helen Clark, who was respected for her skill but never seen as particularly warm or personable – qualities he exuded.
Luxon is the fifth opposition leader to take on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, a leader even her worst enemies admit is extremely likeable. He is engaging one-on-one but can risk slipping into TEDx mode if left to wander for too long.
And it’s unclear that a carbon copy of Key would really do so well in the New Zealand politics of 2021.
Do people want a laid-back business guy during a pandemic? Do they want to trim back the state when the state just saved them from the worst…