New Zealand have voted in Chris Luxon and the National Party as leaders of the country. have handed the Labour government a resounding defeat.
Speaking at his election night event in Auckland, National party leader Christopher Luxon expressed confidence in his party’s prospects to form the next government with the ACT Party. He pledged to deal with the cost of living, restore law and order, and improve healthcare and education.
In contrast, Labour leader Chris Hipkins conceded that his party had lost the election. The surge in support for the National party has been described as a “bluenami” and a “nightmare” for the government.
This shift in New Zealand’s politics marks the end of Labour’s six years in power. During that time they had to deal with significant events like the Covid-19 pandemic, the Christchurch mosque attacks, and the Whakaari volcano eruption.
With more than 95% of the vote counted, National was predicted to gain 50 seats, and Act, their traditional coalition party, to win 11 seats, just enough to govern with a total of 61 seats. The remaining question was whether they would need to bring a third party, probably New Zealand First, into their governing coalition.
Despite the challenges faced by Hipkins’ government, including natural disasters, a terrorist attack, and the pandemic, he thanked his family and supporters during his emotional speech.
This outcome represents a remarkable turnaround for the Labour party, which had achieved a landslide victory in 2020 under Jacinda Ardern’s leadership, securing the largest mandate in nearly 30 years.