losangelesnewstoday.com June 18, 2018

New Zealand's ruling National ahead in early counting- electoral commission

24 September 2017, 12:32 | Katrina Lee

New Zealand Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf discusses the election and the possibility of an RBNZ revamp

New Zealand Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf discusses the election and the possibility of an RBNZ revamp

The nationalist New Zealand First Party has emerged the potential kingmaker in the general elections held on Saturday, as Prime Minister Bill English's National Party won most votes but fell short of a majority.

With 61 seats required to govern, National won 58 and its sole remaining political ally, ACT secured one, according to the New Zealand Electoral Commission.

New Zealand's ruling party today won the most votes in country's parliamentary election but not enough to form a government on its own.

The centre-left Labour Party, led by recently appointed 37-year-old leader Jacinda Ardern, was vying against the incumbent National Party.

That means there is still a chance Prime Minister Bill English's main challenger, Labour's Jacinda Ardern, could get the top job.

No party has claimed a majority government in New Zealand's 120-seat parliament since proportional voting was adopted in 1996.

He said, "We don't need to rush this process". For a brief, vertiginous moment, polls even showed Labour outgunning National, but that reversed in the closing weeks as National aggressively (and at times dishonestly) attacked Labour's policies.

For English, who campaigned heavily on National's economic credentials after taking the party leadership past year, the strong showing was a vindication after National crashed to its worst ever election result in 2002 under his first stint as leader.

But her party's immediate future is no longer in her hands. Victory for us was always about victory for them.

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"I haven't done as well for [our voters] as I would have liked", she told the crowd, who protested back loudly.

Ardern has called on New Zealanders to ditch "autopilot" governance, hoping to ride a global wave of change that most recently propelled France's Emmanuel Macron to become its youngest head of state since Napoleon.

"Bill English and National have taken the largest number of votes". With 15 percent of the vote counted, National's Matt King is leading over Mr Peters by around 100 votes.

"So many New Zealanders supported us. because through this campaign, we had the opportunity to share our challenging ideas about how to solve New Zealand's most pressing problems".

With 28 percent of the vote counted, NZ First is sitting at 7.1 percent.

"I'm a very reasonable person but I don't sell myself or my principles out", he said.

So in addressing the nation after 11 o'clock last night, English wasted no time in declaring his intention to deal with Peters, to respect him and effectively to seek his party's help in addressing the regional and social issues highlighted so starkly in the torrid election campaign. I believe in New Zealand, I'm trying to improve New Zealanders.

She talked about contacting James Shaw.

There were 3.2 million registered voters, of which 1.24 million cast an early vote.

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