New Zealand votes this weekend, after the election was postponed by a month as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kiwis go to the polls tomorrow, with Jacinda Ardern and her Labour Party expected to hold onto power. She may win enough support to govern alone; following the 2017 election, her party won 46 of the 120 seats and governed in coalition with New Zealand First and the Greens. Ardern’s assured handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in New Zealand along with her personal popularity may be enough to see the Labour Party secure more than 50% of the electorate’s support. Latest polls have Labour polling at 46%.
Conversely, Labour’s closest rival, the National Party, is in disarray. It has had three leaders already this year, and its current leader, Judith Butler, has made some gaffes on the campaign trail. According to polls it has the support of about one third of the electorate.
In New Zealand’s proportional representation system, parties need to get at least five percent of the vote to secure seats in Parliament. At this threshold there are only two other parties likely to make it into Parliament, according to polls. Both the Greens and the classically liberal ACT party are polling at about six percent of the vote. New Zealand First, Labour’s current primary coalition party, are unlikely to make it back into Parliament on current polling.
If the current polls are reflected in tomorrow’s results Ardern and the Labour Party will in all likelihood govern in coalition with the Greens.