PM Ardern on track for landslide re-election win in New Zealand vote

PM Ardern on track for landslide re-election win in New Zealand vote

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party was on target for a landslide victory in New Zealand’s election on Saturday, and will possibly form the primary single-party government in decades.
Labour had 50.5% of the votes, before the opposition National Party of Judith Collins at 25.8%, the Electoral Commission said, with 30% of ballots counted within the election that was largely a referendum on Ardern’s aggressive handling of COVID-19.Of Ardern’s current coalition partners, the nationalist New Zealand First Party had 2.3% and therefore the Green Party 8.2%.Labour is on target to win 66 of the 120 seats within the country’s unicameral parliament, the very best by any party since New Zealand adopted a proportional electoral system in 1996.If Labour wins more than half the seats, Ardern could form the primary single-party government under the present system.
If she falls short, she is predicted to still believe the minor Greens while jettisoning New Zealand First.
“This may be a historic shift,” political commentator Bryce Edwards of Victoria University in Wellington said, describing the vote together of the most important swings in New Zealand’s electoral history in 80 years.”This is new ground,” he said.
A Labour-Green coalition would be the primary fully left-leaning government in decades, a scenario that National’s Collins warned would mean more taxes and an environment hostile to business. Ardern, 40, has pledged to boost taxes on top earners, while Collins promised short-term tax cuts, but they need otherwise shown few major differences on policy. National’s deputy leader Gerry Brownlee said it had been too early to concede defeat but acknowledged “the Jacinda Ardern effect” on the race.
“The last seven months of this government – all of the problems around their past promises are forgot due to COVID-19,” Brownlee told Radio New Zealand. “It’s that straightforward .”Brownlee was trailing by thousands of votes in his electorate seat of Ilam, a National stronghold in Christchurch.
The prime minister won global approval for her handling of a mass shooting last year by a supremacist in Christchurch, together with her inclusive “be strong, be kind” mantra and swift action to ban guns. She burnished that reputation this year with a “go hard, go early” approach to the new coronavirus, which has eliminated locally spread COVID-19 within the nation.
The election was delayed by a month after new COVID-19 infections in Auckland, that led to a second lockdown within the country’s largest city. While known internationally for promoting progressive causes like woman’s rights and social justice, reception Ardern faced criticism that her government failed on a promise to be transformational. Life is back to normal in New Zealand, but its borders are still shut, its tourism sector is bleeding and economists predict an enduring recession after the tough lockdowns.
The economy shrank at an 12.2% annual clip within the second quarter, its steepest drop since the good Depression. Debt is forecast to rise to 56% of gross domestic product from but 20% before the pandemic.
New Zealanders also voted on Saturday in referendums to legalise euthanasia and recreational marijuana, with results to be announced on Oct. 30. The latter vote could make New Zealand only the third country within the world to permit the adult use and sale of cannabis nationwide, after Uruguay and Canada



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