New Zealand ruling Labor Party wins landslide victory: preliminary results

Elias Hubbard
October 18, 2020

Labour's landslide victory in the 2020 New Zealand election has been reported around the world, with major outlets praising Jacinda Ardern and Labour for the win and politicians and members of the public rushing to congratulate her and make plans to move to New Zealand.

The result means Ms Ardern will serve a second term, meaning she will be the prime minister for another three years.The main opposition party - the National Party - took just 27% of votes. "We will not take your support for granted and I promise you we will be a party that governs for every New Zealander".

Labour looks nearly certain to not only be able to govern alone, but with a healthy margin of seats, and close to half the party vote.

'This has not been an ordinary election, and it's not an ordinary time, ' she said.

Ardern thanked supporters as they called out her name. "National will re-emerge from this loss a stronger, disciplined and more connected party".

The Electoral Commission said nearly 2 million ballots had already been cast as of Friday, accounting for more than half of the roughly 3.5 million New Zealanders on the electoral rolls.

"We are living in an increasingly polarized world", the 40-year-old Ardern told hundreds of cheering supporters.

Meanwhile, The Australian newspaper said the result was a "disaster" for Judith Collins, have previously warned their readers ahead of the election result that "Australia should brace for a harder diplomatic punch from the Labour-Green Government on climate change, as well as on environment protection and refugee policy". There is now no community spread of the virus in the nation of 5 million and people are no longer required to wear masks or social distance. None of the other minor parties won electorate seats or reached the 5% party vote threshold.

Her empathetic and calm leadership style - as well as the fact that she gave birth while in office, the second elected head of government ever to do so - made Ardern an internationally popular figure. She has since been celebrated as a role model for working mothers.

Her poll numbers shot through the roof in the aftermath of New Zealand eliminating COVID-19 from the community and stayed there.

The country went without any new cases for 102 days until August, when a small outbreak in the largest city Auckland resulted in rules being reimposed. Ardern swiftly imposed a second lockdown in Auckland and the new outbreak faded away.

The Labour Party won the election, which was originally set for September but was delayed by a month due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a majority of 49 percent.

Opposition National Party leader Judith Collins conceded with nearly a quarter of the votes still to be counted.

Ardern's brand of compassionate politics - "be kind", became her catchphrase during the pandemic - has been championed in sharp contrast to the polarizing approach of President Trump, with whom she has occasionally butted heads.

Ms Collins, 61, was promising sweeping tax cuts in response to the economic downturn caused by the virus. It's the best showing for the Labour party in at least 50 years.

"Looking forward to expanding cooperation and further strengthening bonds of friendship between [the two countries]", he added. The libertarian ACT Party increased its support to 8% and the Green Party won 7.5% of the votes. "It's a tremendous accolade first and foremost to the prime minister, but also to the wider Labour team and the Labour movement", he said.

New Zealanders also voted on referendums to legalise euthanasia and recreational marijuana.

Referendum votes will be counted after election day and preliminary results will be released on October 30.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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