Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, cruised to victory in a general election seen as a referendum on her strategy to ‘eliminate’ coronavirus.
The 40-year-old leader, who was neck and neck with opposition before the pandemic, won 62 seats of 120, making her party the first to be able to govern alone in 24 years since the country changed its voting system.
Bathed in red as the lights at the Auckland Town Hall flooded down onto the stage, the Labour Party leader addressed a crowd of 1,000 people, permitted in a country with no restrictions on movement or gatherings.
“This has not been an ordinary election, and it’s not an ordinary time,” Ms Ardern said amid cheers from the audience of party faithful. “It’s been full of uncertainty and anxiety and we set out to be an antidote for that.”
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