Jacinda Ardern will govern New Zealand for a second term after the Labour party secured a landslide victory in the general election, after attracting so many votes that become the first party in decades to be able to govern alone.

more than 90% of the vote counted, Labour had secured 49%, with the opposition National party on 27%. Labour was expected to win 64 of the 120 seats in parliament, and National, 35. It is the best result for the Labour party in 50 years.

On Saturday, Judith Collins, the leader of the opposition congratulated on the “outstanding result”.

Ardern thanked the nation for the strong mandate while speaking at Auckland town hall to all her supporters. She said elections “don’t have to be divisive” and promised to govern with positivity.“I cannot imagine a people I would feel more privileged to work on behalf of, to work alongside and to be prime minister for,” she said to cheers.

“Tonight’s result does give Labour a very strong and very clear mandate.” paying tribute to Ardern’s “respect for others in the face of tragedy”, Dalai lama congratulated her.

Adding more, he said that, admire the courage, wisdom and leadership you have indicated in these challenging times. I particularly praise the way you have responded with calm, kindness and respect for others in the face of catastrophe. During my several visits to your beautiful country over the years, I have been deeply touched by the openness and warmth of people from all walks of life. I have been stimulated by the enthusiasm and interest they have shown in my efforts to promote a sense of peace of humanity and the need for inter-religious harmony

The preliminary count also shows a major swing to the left, with Labour picking up a significant boost on last election’s 37%, while its current federation partner the Green Party won 8% or 10 seats up on last election’s 6%.

Ahead of the election, Victoria University politics lecturer Claire Timperley said Labour would be “foolish” not to have a conversation with the Greens about working together, even if Labour won an outright majority. Labour’s other current coalition partner New Zealand First has not secured enough votes to make it back into parliament, while the right-wing ACT party won 10 seats. The country was one of the first to close its borders, and Ardern announced a nationwide lockdown in March when it only had 102 cases.

Since the pandemic began, New Zealand has reported rarer than 2,000 total cases and 25 deaths She also won praise for her compassionate handling of major crises. After the 2019 terror attack on two Christchurch mosques which left 51 people dead, she introduced swift gun law changes and donned a hijab when she met with the local Muslim community.

But while she promised to lead a government of “transformation,” her critics argue she hasn’t done enough to address inequality, child poverty, climate change and the housing market. Ardern looks set to face another tough term ahead, as she attempts to address those issues while navigating the country through the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. But political analysts aren’t expecting flashy flagship policies instead, they predict Ardern will continue making accumulative changes.

“Real change requires steps that bring people with us,” Ardern said at the country’s final election debate on Thursday. “I stand by my record … I am not done yet.”

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