The opposition in New Zealand has already recognized the victory of the left-wing Labor Party led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Opposition leader Judith Collins of the Conservative National Party congratulated Ardern on New Zealand television on Saturday and spoke of an “outstanding” result for Labor.
A commentator on New Zealand television spoke of a “considerable left slide”. Ardern, also known abroad for her successful crisis management, has been in office since 2017. According to surveys in the run-up to the vote, Ardern was the favorite.
So far coalition
Ardern has ruled a coalition of Labor, the Greens and the small populist party New Zealand First, which is known for its anti-immigrant positions. Three years ago the party had tipped the scales and surprisingly brought Ardern into office. Now she clearly lost. The Greens, however, were able to gain.
Ardern has also gained a lot of international recognition for its handling of the Christchurch attacks, in which a right-wing extremist from Australia shot 51 Muslims in two mosques last year, and for its successful fight against the corona pandemic. So far, the Pacific state has come through the pandemic very lightly and recently declared for the second time that it had the virus under control.
Legalization of cannabis
The 3.7 million eligible voters also voted in two referendums on the legalization of cannabis as a recreational drug and the legalization of euthanasia. The results of these referendums should not be published until the end of October.