Bill English and Paula Bennett are now assembling their ministry. Their task: to continue the Key government without Key but also to demonstrate they are not the Key-government-without-Key.
That is no small feat. Policy lurches would disorient supporters and look like a government no longer in control of the agenda. Too much of the same with minor tweaks would leave voters stuck in the Key era but without Key and highlight his successor’s popularity deficit compared with the real thing.