A year full of unprecedented events has delivered one more: for the first time since MMP was introduced in 1996, one party has won a Parliamentary majority. Labour was expected to dominate, but few, even in Labour, would have predicted the extent of the red-wash. Once the special votes are counted Labour is expected to have the third largest vote in its history, and the largest since 1946. Jacinda Ardern and Labour can govern alone for the next three years. Anyone worried that the Greens will hold a disproportionate sway can rest easy. This is going to be a Labour Government led by a careful thinker who wants a third term.
Last night’s election result was a ringing endorsement of Labour’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. In some ways it is a vote of thanks but also a show of trust in Jacinda Ardern’s ability to lead through tough and testing times.
With a tick over 49 percent of the vote (and expected to lift one or two percent more once special votes are counted) Labour now has a massive mandate from the New Zealand public. It also has a herculean task in front of it and no minor parties to blame for lack of pace or delivery.
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