With the majority of votes counted, Ardern’s Labor Party won 49% of the vote, which should guarantee it a rare absolute majority in the New Zealand parliament. The center-right National Party, which only managed 27%, has already conceded defeat this Saturday morning. The ACT New Zealand and Green parties stood at 8%.
“New Zealand has shown the Labor Party its greatest support in almost 50 years,” Ardern told his supporters after the victory. “We will not take your support for granted. And I can promise you that we will be a governing party for all New Zealanders.” Her opponent and Labor Party leader, Judith Collins, congratulated her, but promised to make her a “robust” opposition. “Three years will pass in the blink of an eye,” she said, referring to the next scheduled election. “We will be back.”
The general elections in New Zealand were supposed to take place in September, but were postponed a month because of the covid-19 pandemic. During this visit, the citizens were also asked to speak on two referendums. From the electoral results already obtained, the Labor Party is expected to win 64 seats in parliament, which is sufficient for an absolute majority.
This is a feat by Jacinta Ardern, as no party has managed to achieve an absolute majority since New Zealand introduced the voting system known as proportional representation of mixed members (MMP) in 1996. Which led many of the political analysts New Zealanders doubting the possibility of that majority happening. “New Zealand voters are quite tactical, as they share their votes and about 30% give their party vote to a smaller party, which means that it is still a remote chance that Labor will win more than 50% of the vote,” he said. before the elections Professor Jennifer Curtin, from the University of Auckland.
During her election campaign, Jacinta Ardern promised voters to carry out climate-friendly policies, increase funding for disadvantaged schools and increase taxes and incomes on the wealthiest.
The Labor Party did not dream of a victory at the beginning of the year, much less an overwhelming one, since it appeared second in the voting intentions. But Jacinda Ardern’s response to the pandemic has raised the prime minister’s popularity to the pinnacles. In a country with five million inhabitants and four dozen active cases of covid-19, all imported and in isolation in centers for that purpose, pandemic management turned out to be an asset for Jacinda Ardern and her party.
In these elections to New Zealanders, they were also invited to vote in two referendums: euthanasia and the legalization of cannabis. The first referendum aims to give terminally ill patients the option of requesting assistance to die and is a binding vote, that is, if it is approved with more than 50% by “yes”, euthanasia in that country will become legal. The second, on use, the legalization of recreational use of cannabis is not binding, and even if approved by a majority, it requires the government to present a bill for its implementation.
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