New Zealand's general elections yield no clear victor as tally ends

24 September, 2017, 00:26 | Author: Brian Mcdaniel
  • New Zealand Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf discusses the election and the possibility of an RBNZ revamp

Neither of the major parties - National, led by the incumbent prime minister, Bill English, or Jacinda Ardern's Labour - secured enough seats to form a majority government in a frustrating poll on Saturday.

New Zealand's ruling National Party has succeeded in maintaining its top position in the general election Saturday, with 58 seats, though this falls short of a simple majority.

The nationalist New Zealand First Party had 7.1 percent of the vote so far, tipping it as a likely kingmaker in the German-style proportional representation system.

English had seen his party's standing in the polls plummet since announcing the election in February, and Jacinda Ardern's Labour Party surged.

She also wants to cut migration and renegotiate some trade deals, which some worry could hurt two key sources of growth for New Zealand's small, outward-looking economy.

"We'll make a decision in the interests of all New Zealand and New Zealand First, that is the whole country, not ourselves in the party but in the national interest and that will take some time", Peters said. The centre-right governing party, led by 55-year-old Bill English, had been in power for nearly a decade.

The numbers say she is an alternative Prime Minister but her tone did not suggest it.

Labour won 45 seats with its political partner Green on seven.

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She told supporters she had called National leader Bill English to discuss the result, conceding neither of them would determine the election outcome. In the next few days we will begin discussions with New Zealand First in finding common ground and most importantly forming the kind of Government that will allow New Zealand to get on with the success.

Speaking to the National Party's supporters at Sky City in Auckland, he welcomed the expression of confidence from voters, and said he would talk to Mr Peters soon, but they did not need to rush the process.

A record 1.2 million ballots were cast before the day of the election, accounting for about a third of the 3.3 million New Zealanders enrolled to vote.

Ms Ardern has been a game-shifter for the New Zealand Labour Party, appealing to the "young and urban", according to recently resigned leader of the party, Andrew Little.

In the past, he has raised concerns about New Zealand becoming an "Asian colony" and warned about migrants taking jobs from locals.

"Special votes", which include ballots from New Zealanders overseas and those who vote outside their home constituencies, will be released on October 7.

In contrast, English was bullish about his chances of securing a fourth-term government for National, a feat that has not been achieved in New Zealand for more than 50 years.

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