Jacinda Ardern has won a comfortable election, with her Labour party winning a majority of the 120 seats that were on offer in the New Zealand general election.
Mrs Ardern, who was seeking to gain a second term after forming a coalition government in 2017 with Winston Peters’ New Zealand First and the New Zealand Greens, has won the first majority election victory in New Zealand since 1996.
It was a good night for Mrs Ardern, as it was for ACT’s leader David Seymour. From 1 seat in 2017, Mr Seymour’s party is on track to return to Wellington with 10 seats won.
The same cannot be said for the National Party, who fell drastically from their 2017 number of 58 seats under then Prime Minister Bill English.
The party, under the current leadership of Judith Collins, underwent a number of leadership changes since Mrs. Ardern came to power in 2017, including three leaders just this year alone.
Yet from Simon Bridges to Todd Muller to Judith Collins, their bid to beat the incumbent Ardern has failed. The Nationals only managed to win 35 seats this time around.
National Party Member Liam, a guest on the 1 NEWS coverage of the election, described National’s night as “a catastrophe” akin to the “2002 election”. In that election, the Nationals won only 27 seats. Simon Bridges during the telecast described the result as “really grim”.
Marama Davidson, co-leader of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, when asked about how she was feeling after a solid night for her party, said she was feeling her “feet above the ground right now”.
“It’s an incredible night for the Greens party,” she said. Her party ended up winning 11 seats. The night went about as poorly as expected for Winston Peters and New Zealand First. After decades in parliament in New Zealand, Mr. Peters’ party failed to gain a seat.
This has been a massive fall from three years ago for Mr. Peters, who won 9 seats and helped decide the election result. Mr. Peters was also the Deputy Premier in Jacinda Ardern’s first term.
As for Mrs. Ardern, as she celebrates in Auckland, the next three years promise to be challenging, with the economic recovery from COVID-19 to feature heavily.
Yet, if there’s one thing the Prime Minister has proven after a first term that featured a terrorist attack in Christchurch, a volcanic eruption and now a pandemic, that she is not one to back down from a challenge.
Article: Caspar Mcleod
Photo: Jacinda Ardern via Facebook