Jacinda Ardern would be among youngest world leaders if she became PM

"Granted I am a young proposition for the party, but this party has worked alongside me for nine years, they have faith in me, and I'm up for the job," Ms Ardern said.
"Granted I am a young proposition for the party, but this party has worked alongside me for nine years, they have faith in me, and I'm up for the job," Ms Ardern said. Photo credit: Getty

If Labour leader Jacinda Ardern became Prime Minister after the general election she'd join a group of world leaders under the age of 40.

She's the youngest ever leader of the Labour party, but she wouldn't be New Zealand's youngest Prime Minister. That title goes to Edward Stafford who became Premier in 1856 and was about 18 days younger than Ms Ardern would be - if made Prime Minister this year.

Both Australia and New Zealand's youngest ever Prime Ministers were 37.

In her first media conference as Labour leader on Tuesday, Ms Ardern acknowledged her youth but announced she was ready.

"Granted I am a young proposition for the party, but this party has worked alongside me for nine years, they have faith in me, and I'm up for the job," she said.

"These are extraordinary circumstances. I have been asked to take on this challenge. I have accepted. I'm confident I can lead this team into the election."

Ms Ardern was elected unopposed as leader after Andrew Little stepped down.

Current world leaders close in age to Ms Ardern:

  • Emannuel Macron, who in May became the youngest ever President of France, is 39.
  • Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, the King of Bhutan, is 37 and has been in power since he was just 26.
  • Jüri Ratas, the Prime Minister of Estonia, is 39.
  • Emil Dimitriev, the Macedonian Prime Minister, is 38.
  • Volodymyr Groysman, Ukraine's youngest ever Prime Minister, is 39.
  • Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, is 37.
  • Kim Jong-Un, supreme leader of the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea, is 33.
  • Justin Trudeau, the second youngest ever Prime Minister of Canada, is 45.

Former Prime Minister John Key was 44 when he became Prime Minister. Before him, Helen Clark was 49 and Jenny Shipley was 45.

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