PM Jacinda Ardern Wins Second Term in New Zealand's election

Ardern thanked New Zealanders for delivering the landslide victory. "Thank you to the various people that gave us their vote, who trusted us to continue leading New Zealand's recovery,"

PM Jacinda Ardern Wins Second Term in New Zealand's election
PM Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won a landslide victory in New Zealand's election Saturday, leveraging success battling Covid-19 to realize an unprecedented outright majority and therefore the chance to implement her reform agenda.

With two thirds of the vote counted, Ardern's centre-left Labour Party was on 49.2 percent and forecast to require around 64 seats within the 120-member parliament.No leader has achieved an majority since New Zealand adopted a proportional electoral system in 1996, resulting in a succession of multi-party governments.

Ardern thanked New Zealanders for delivering the landslide victory. "Thank you to the various people that gave us their vote, who trusted us to continue leading New Zealand's recovery," she told cheering supporters, adding that her centre-left Labour Party had seen its highest level of support in a minimum of 50 years.

While the count has not been finalised, the figures were enough for opposition leader Judith Collins to concede after phoning Ardern.Collins told cheering supporters in Auckland.Her conservative National Party was expected to require around 35 seats in what appears to be its worst end in nearly 20 years.

Ardern's performance beat pre-election opinion polls and put Labour on track for its strongest showing since 1946.Party president Claire Szabo praised the campaign of the charismatic leader, who sparked a wave of support dubbed "Jacinda-mania" when she took over the party in 2017 because it was languishing within the polls."There's little question the strong, great leadership we've had from Jacinda Ardern has been a huge think about all this," she told NZ.

Ardern had dubbed the vote "the Covid election" and campaigned on her government's success in eliminating community transmission of the virus, which has caused just 25 deaths during a population of 5 million.

The pandemic is simply one among a string of crises that showed Ardern's leadership qualities during a torrid first term.She displayed both empathy and decisive action on regulation after a supremacist gunman killed 51 Muslim worshippers within the Christchurch mosques attack last year.

Ardern again found herself comforting a shocked nation when a eruption at White Island, also referred to as Whakaari, killed 21 people and left dozens more with horrific burns.
"No matter what crisis is thrown my way, you'll always be assured i will be able to give my everything to the present job, albeit meaning an enormous sacrifice," she said in the week .

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