Helen Clark leads Al Jazeera post-debate poll for next UN chief

Former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark is dominating an online poll asking who gave the best performance during a live debate in the race to be the next United Nations secretary-general.

Earlier today, Ms Clark addressed several topics, including immigration and international security, during her pitch to succeed Ban Ki-Moon as the chief of the international organisation.

The Al Jazeera poll has Ms Clark ahead with a 43 per cent majority over her nearest rivals Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica (23 per cent), and Danilo Turk of Slovenia (16 per cent).

Ten of the 12 candidates in the running to be the next UN secretary-general took part in a "global town hall" debate, which was broadcast by Al Jazeera live on TV and online.

It's the first time those vying for the UN's top job have taken part in such an event, with the appointment process usually happening behind closed doors.

Based on an unofficial geographical rotation principle, it's widely tipped the next secretary-general will be from Eastern Europe.

Despite Ms Clark's public support the final vote for the UN secretary-general is made by the Security Council, on the recommendation of the General Assembly.