New Zealand opposition leader fails to win popularity, to step down
WELLINGTON (AFP) - The leader of New Zealand's main opposition Labour Party David Shearer announced he would quit his position on Thursday after consistently trailing Prime Minister John Key in opinion polls.
Mr Shearer, who became opposition leader in December 2011, said Labour needed someone to take charge who could prevent Mr Key's conservative government winning a third term next year.
"The time has come for me to hand over to a new leader who can take Labour through to 2014," he told reporters.
"We need to do more and we haven't had the lift (in popularity). To really take the country forward we need a Labour government."