Chlöe Swarbrick, a 23-year-old Greens Party candidate, was set to become New Zealand’s youngest member of Parliament in 42 years following the country’s general election September 23.
While the Greens did not win an electorate, under New Zealand’s electoral system voters cast a ballot for both a local MP and a party. The Greens won 5.9 percent of the vote, according to the Electoral Commission, meaning that they were to be allocated seven seats in Parliament. Swarbrick was seventh on the Greens list, so was set to take a seat in New Zealand’s 52nd Parliament. The Electoral Commission listed her as a successful candidate.
Asked by TVNZ about the significance of her age, she replied, "I don’t know, that is what people choose to read into the significance of that.
“I would say it’s supposed to be a House of Representatives. Currently the youngest person in the previous Parliament was a tobacco lobbyist from Southland. I wouldn’t say he’s super representative of the youth of today.”
Swarbrick first came to public notice in 2016, when she finished third out of a field of 19 in Auckland’s mayoral race, garnering 30,000 votes.
Marilyn Waring was the last 23-year-old elected to New Zealand’s Parliament, in 1975. She was a member of the centre-right National Party, leaving Parliament in 1984. Credit: Facebook/Chlöe Swarbrick via Storyful