In an election of firsts, incumbent New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won reelection.
Never before have the majority of Kiwis voted before election. Nearly 2 million of 3.5 million registered to vote did so early. It’s also the first time New Zealanders have voted outright for one political party in Parliament since the introduction of the mixed member proportional representation system in 1996.
“Tonight’s result has been strong and it is clear that Labour will lead the government for the next three years,” Ms Ardern said, addressing supporters.
She thanked voters, and vowed she wouldn’t take for granted the proportion of New Zealanders voting Labour for the first time.
“We will be a party that governs for every New Zealander,” she said.
New Zealand National Party leader Judith Collins, who conceded the election, called the result “outstanding” for the prime minister, but said Labour would need to improve to navigate the current economic downturn.
New Zealand’s Greens Party had something to celebrate; while early polls showed a dismal result for the party, it won more than 7% of the vote, and Auckland Central candidate Chlöe Swarbrick won a seat previously held by National — the first electoral win for the Greens Party since 1999.
On Sunday Ms Ardern didn’t comment on whether she would invite the Greens into government, although she has spoken to co-leader James Shaw already, and talks will proceed “swiftly.”
According to Ms Ardern, a new government won’t be announced for another two weeks, with half a million special votes still to be counted.