Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern swept landslide victory in New Zealand’s general election and got re-elected for her second term. Since New Zealand adopted a proportional voting system in 1996, no leader has achieved an absolute majority making her win the first one. With 87% of the vote counted, Ardern’s Labour Party was on 49.2 per cent and will take around 64 seats in the 120-member parliament.
Garnering biggest share of the vote and absolute majority, Ardern addressed supporters saying there is much work to do and the mandate is to accelerate Covid’s response and recovery. The PM said she will strive to rebuild New Zealand’s economy. Opposition Judith Collins’s conservative National Party appears to have performed its worst in nearly 20 years.
Earlier the election was scheduled to take place on September 19. Ardern had announced that election would be held on October 17 and said the re-emergence of Covid-19 in the community was a cause for concern during the election period. Many electorates and analysts had dubbed the elections “Jacinda-mania” following her massive supporters. Party president Claire Szabo praised the campaign and said that this victory was mainly because of Jacinda Ardern’s great leadership.
New Zealand has been easing coronavirus restrictions in Auckland down to the lowest level amid an improving epidemiological situation. Many believe voters are rewarding Jacinda’s efforts to reduce the pandemic in her country with their mandate. Her domestic and foreign policies and reforms have found many supporters and she is emerging as one of the biggest global leaders.