Ardern takes early lead in New Zealand's 'Covid election'

Ardern takes early lead in New Zealand’s ‘Covid election’

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Wellington: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to win an unprecedented overwhelming majority in the New Zealand election on Saturday after his successful campaign to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Calculated with 10% of the votes, Arden’s center-left Labor Party accounts for 49.9%, which will give it 64 seats in 120 member states.

Since New Zealand adopted a proportional voting system in 1996, no politically persuasive leader has been able to obtain an absolute majority, which has led to the succession of a multi-party government.

Although these numbers are early, they exceed the pre-election polls, and if they are consistent, they will represent the strongest performance of the Labor Party in decades.

Opposition leader Judith Collins’ center-right National Party won 26.0% of the seats, occupying 34 seats, and it seems to be the worst result in the past 20 years.

Even if Ardern fails to get a majority, the support (8.4% or 11 seats) from her current alliance partner, the Green Party, can easily overtake her.

Ardern called the election a “Republican election” and ran for the government to promote its successful elimination of the community-borne virus, which caused only 25 deaths out of 5 million people.

“Who’s better placed to keep New Zealand safe and who’s better placed to get us on track to recovery?” she asked repeatedly on the campaign trail.

Another theme has been “sticking together in uncertain times”, highlighting the charismatic 40-year-old’s leadership qualities, not just during the pandemic but in a series of crises during her three years in office.

These include the Christchurch mosques shootings in March last year, when a white supremacist gunman killed 51 Muslim worshippers, and a volcanic eruption that claimed 21 lives last December on White Island, also known as Whakaari.

“No matter what crisis is thrown my way, you will always be assured I will give my everything to this job, even if that means a huge sacrifice,” she said this week.

If Ardern does need the Green Party, they may demand a more progressive agenda in exchange for maintaining Ardern’s right to govern. This is her failure to fulfill certain key promises (such as improving housing affordability and tackling child poverty) in her first term. ) Afterwards.

Collins, the combative leader of the center-right National Party, has been concerned about the specter of the Green Party, forcing Arden to adopt a wealth tax on New Zealand’s aspiring middle class.

But her attack failed to attract people’s attention, and the party looks to be far below the 44.5% recorded in its last election in 2017.

The conservative leader was called a “smasher” because of the tough policies of the police minister of the previous government. She vowed to continue as the leader regardless of the outcome.

Approximately 3.5 million people registered to vote, of which 1.9 million, or more than half, voted as early as possible-this number is much higher than in previous elections.

The vote was originally scheduled to take place on September 19, but it was postponed due to a virus outbreak in Auckland and has now been contained.

Collins, who took over the National Party in July after a period of turmoil when the party had three leaders in three months, said the false start had cost her campaign momentum.

Voters also cast ballots in two referendums, one on legalising recreational cannabis and the other on legalising euthanasia, although the results of those votes will not be known until October 30. 

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