John Key's right-hand man has no more opponents.
Bill English will become the country’s next prime minister, with 30 National MPs - including outgoing PM John Key - publicly backing him ahead of a vote on Monday.
As the numbers came in, Police Minister Judith Collins announced she was pulling out of the race for the top job, and was backing English herself.
This is despite her criticising him yesterday for holding out on police funding.
Now backing the guy who she said has been holding out on police— Tim Watkin (@Tim_Watkin) December 8, 2016
Collins: Bill English stalling on extra cop funding https://t.co/UTJQb7Suny
Earlier today, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman, who also put his name in the hat to become our next PM after Key resigned this week, said he would remain in the race.
Jonathan Coleman staying in the race to be PM like pic.twitter.com/0CrXdG1imP— Sanjay Patel (@spat106) December 8, 2016
But this afternoon he withdrew, leaving English the last candidate standing - and the presumptive next PM.
Earlier today, RNZ reported the support of 30 National MPs would likely be enough to secure English the role after Monday’s caucus vote.
National Party pollster David Farrar tweeted today that an endorsement by Taranaki-King Country MP Barbara Kuriger was number 30.
Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay also tweeted his support for English today:
I'll be supporting fellow-Diptonite @honbillenglish for PM. I appreciate all his support in the past & it's an honour to be able to repay it— Todd Barclay (@ToddBarclayMP) December 7, 2016
English previously stood in the Clutha-Southland electorate, and both men were born in the small Southland town of Dipton.
English is probably pretty stoked today, Generation Zero’s Sudhvir Singh reckons.
Quite an afternoon for Bill English. Gets the numbers in caucus, a concession from Collins and gets to announce these figures https://t.co/mgc715K8D3— Sudhvir Singh (@sudhvir) December 8, 2016
And Collins' announcement was a pain in the neck for some journalists.
oh well at least I hadn't got very far pic.twitter.com/9tVjLSLBk4— Toby Manhire (@toby_etc) December 8, 2016
Which she's probably pretty happy about.
At least Collins would've be entertaining— Eli Orzessek (@nimbiwit) December 8, 2016
On Monday, National Party MPs will meet at Parliament to vote for a new leader and deputy. The new PM will be sworn in on Tuesday.
Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have both put their names forward to be English's second-in-command if he becomes PM.
This morning English said he would give Steven Joyce the finance portfolio if he wins the party's leadership.
You can read about English's views on abortion, marriage equality, euthanasia, and prostitution and cannabis reform here.