“This is a historic shift,” said political commentator Bryce Edwards of Victoria University in Wellington, describing the vote as one of the biggest swings in New Zealand’s electoral history in 80 years. Labour was on track to win 64 of the 120 seats in the country’s unicameral parliament, the highest by any party since New Zealand adopted a proportional voting system in 1996.
Ardern promised supporters she would build an economy that works for everyone, create jobs, train people, protect the environment and address climate challenges and social inequalities. “We are living in an increasingly polarised world,” she said. “A place where more and more have lost the ability to see one another’s point of view. I hope that with this election, New Zealand has shown that this is not who we are.”
Opposition National Party leader Judith Collins said she congratulated the prime minister for an “outstanding result”.