New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern secures landslide win at polls

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won a landslide victory in the country’s general election.

With all votes tallied, Ms Ardern’s centre-left Labour Party won 49.1%, bringing a projected 64 seats and a rare outright parliamentary majority.

The opposition centre-right National Party won 26.8% in Saturday’s poll – just 35 seats in the 120-seat assembly.

The poll was originally to be held in September but was postponed by a month after a renewed Covid-19 outbreak.

Ahead of Saturday’s vote, more than a million people cast ballots in early polling, which opened on 3 October.

New Zealanders were also asked to vote in two referendums alongside the general election.

The Electoral Commission’s final tally also¬†gave ACT New Zealand 8% of the vote (10 projected seats), the Greens 7.6% (10), the Maori Party 1% (1) and others 7.7% (0).

No party had managed to win an outright majority in New Zealand since it introduced a voting system known as Mixed Member Proportional representation (MMP) in 1996.

Ms Ardern, who dubbed the poll “the Covid election”, pledged to instil more climate-friendly policies, boost funding for disadvantaged schools and raise income taxes on top earners. (Courtesy BBC)

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