No clear victor had emerged the morning of Sunday, September 24, following New Zealand’s general election a day earlier, with neither the ruling centre-right National Party nor centre-left Labour winning enough seats to form a government.
According to the New Zealand Electoral Commission, National received 46 percent of the vote and Labour, 35.8 percent. The commission projected that National would get 58 seats in New Zealand’s 120-seat Parliament and Labour, 45 seats.
New Zealand First, a populist party led by MP Winston Peters, got 7.5 percent of the vote and was forecast to receive nine seats — putting it in the position of playing kingmaker with Labour or National. Peters met with reporters on Sunday but gave no clues with party he would support, Stuff.co.nz reported.
New Zealand uses a complicated voting system called Mixed Member Proportional, or MMP, that ensures every party that wins at least 5 percent of the vote receives some representation in Parliament. In practice that has meant that a coalition is needed between parties before a government can be formed.
In this video, Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern addresses supporters after the results were released late Saturday. She can be seen from the 20-minute mark.
“I came off the field knowing we gave it our all,” she said, while acknowledging that National received more votes.
“But the final outcome of tonight’s election won’t be decided by us. It will be decided by MMP. And sometimes MMP leaves us with an outcome that requires a little bit of extra work. I simply cannot predict what decisions at this point other leaders will make.” Credit: Facebook/New Zealand Labour Party via Storyful