Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won a landslide victory in New Zealand's general election Saturday, leveraging success battling Covid-19 to gain an unprecedented outright majority and the chance to implement her reform agenda. With two thirds of the vote counted, Ardern's centre-left Labour Party was on 49.2 percent and forecast to take around 64 seats in the 120-member parliament.No leader has achieved an absolute majority since New Zealand adopted a proportional voting system in 1996, leading to a succession of multi-party governments.
The figures were enough for opposition leader Judith Collins to concede her defeat. Her conservative National Party was expected to take around 35 seats in what appears to be its worst result in nearly 20 years. Labour Party president Claire Szabo praised the campaign of the charismatic leader, who sparked a wave of support dubbed "Jacinda-mania" when she took over the party in 2017 as it was languishing in the polls.The vote was originally set for September 19 but was delayed by a virus outbreak in Auckland that has now been contained.