Jacinda Ardern’s Labour party ahead in New Zealand votes

Early results depict Jacinda Ardern's Labour Party is on track to win the second term. She will comfortably get the required number.  However, curiosity is whether the Labour party could secure the number to win an outright majority.

Early results depict Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Labour party on course to win a second term in the Prime Minister office. Successful handling of Christchurch mosque attack last year, and handling of the coronavirus boosted her success.

At the moment Jacinda aimed to win a parliamentary majority in ongoing delayed general elections, which would be unprecedented.

The election was originally expected in September, but after a new wave of Covid-19 break, it was postponed by a month.

Read more: COVID-19: Burgeoning cases in Europe amid second wave

More than a million people voted in polls opened at 09:00 and closed at 19:00 local time.

Ardern’s outright majority

Early results depict Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party is on track to win the second term. She will comfortably get the required number.  However, curiosity is whether the Labour party could secure the number to win an outright majority. Since the emergence of parliamentary democracy in New Zealand, no party has managed to do so.

According to the details shared by the Election Commission, until now more than 30% ballots have been counted and Labour party has taken 50% of the counted votes. The National Party got 26% of the votes and the Green Party secured about 8%.

Main issues people are voting on

Ms Ardern aimed to instil more climate-friendly, boost in funding for schools, and 2% rise in income tax on top-earning.  Whereas, Ardern’s main challenger Judith Collins of National Party pledged to reduce taxes, pay down debt and increase in infrastructure investment.

The main difference between both the contestants is the leadership style. No doubt, Ms Ardern has a significant advantage as a kind and empathetic personality.

Vote in two referendums

Aside from selecting their future leader, New Zealanders will also vote for two referendums in parallel: the end of life choice on euthanasia and cannabis legalization.

The first is a binding vote, means if 50% of the voters voted “yes”, the End of Life Choice Act 2019 will be enacted.

However, the cannabis legalization is not binding, means even if the majority of the voters favours the legalization, it might not become legal without the introduction of a bill by the new government to legalize cannabis.

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