Wednesday, 28 October, 2020

New Zealand: Jacinda Ardern's Labour Party wins landslide | DW

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is all smiles as she claims victory over challenger Judith Collins at her party’s election night event in Auckland on Saturday.—AFP Ardern’s Labour Party wins New Zealand election
Deanna Wagner | 18 October, 2020, 06:25

"We will take time to reflect and we will review and we will change", said party leader Judith Collins.

With about one-third of votes counted, Ardern's liberal Labour Party had almost double the amount of votes than its main challenger, the conservative National Party.

The Electoral Commission said nearly 2 million ballots had already been cast as of Friday, accounting for more than half of the roughly 3.5 million New Zealanders on the electoral rolls.

In terms of Ms Ardern's campaign and victory, Mr Gayford said he was elated with the result.

The New Zealand First party, which is now in the ruling coalition and is led by Foreign Minister Winston Peters, failed to win a seat.

Federal Labor MP Tanya Plibersek says people across the world would like to see more politicians like Jacinda Arden, following the New Zealand prime minister's landslide election win.

"Over the next three years there is much work to do", she said. None of the other minor parties won electorate seats or reached the 5% party vote threshold. She displayed both empathy and decisive action on gun control after a white supremacist gunman killed 51 Muslim worshippers in the Christchurch mosques attack past year. She has since been celebrated as a role model for working mothers. The country eliminated community transmission for 102 days before a new cluster was discovered in August in Auckland.

In late March this year, when only about 100 people had tested positive for COVID-19, Ardern and her health officials put New Zealand into a strict lockdown with a motto of "Go hard and go early".

Delhi govt. defends decision on bed reservation for COVID-19 patients
Tullamore Hospital continues to operate at close to full capacity as confirmed Covid-19 cases have increased at the hospital. In its daily Covid-19 bulletin, the DOH also reported 3,139 new cases of Covid-19, with total active cases at 50,354.

New Zealanders went to the polls on Saturday for the 2020 General Election and referendums, which were postponed by nearly a month due to a COVID-19 outbreak in Auckland, the country's largest city.

Ardern's brand of compassionate politics - "be kind", became her catchphrase during the pandemic - has been championed in sharp contrast to the polarizing approach of President Trump, with whom she has occasionally butted heads.

At the time of writing New Zealand has registered less than 2,000 cases.

'It is an outstanding result for the Labour Party, ' Ms Collins said. "It has been a tough campaign", Collins told cheering supporters in Auckland.

The election also saw Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and his small New Zealand First party voted out.

Delivering an upbeat victory speech last night, Ms Ardern said Labour's strong win - its best result in decades - would allow it to accelerate its response to the coronavirus pandemic and push ahead for a quick and transformative economic recovery.

Not only has that never happened under MMP, but you have to go back to 1951 to find a party that got more than 50 per cent of the popular vote.

Likewise, the results of referendum questions on legalizing the recreational use of Cannabis and "assisted dying" which accompanied the election day ballot will not be published for two weeks. Polls taken before the election indicated the euthanasia referendum was likely to pass while the outcome of the marijuana vote remained uncertain. The results of those polls won't be released until October 30.