Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has won a landslide victory in New Zealand’s 2020 general election. She gets re-elected for a second term. Out of 72% votes counted, she swept in 49% — making it the biggest electoral victory in 80 years. Arden used her mandate to promise to rebuild an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic, protect the environment, and tackle social inequality.
“We are living in an increasingly polarised world,” she said. “A place where more and more have lost the ability to see one another’s point of view. I hope that with this election, New Zealand has shown that this is not who we are.”
The centre-left Labour Party got 49.0% of the votes, far ahead of National Party at 27%, the Electoral Commission reported.
With her ‘Be Strong, Be Kind’ political rhetoric, Jacinda Arden has won global acclaim. Previously, she got recognition for her handling of the 2019 mass shooting at the Christchurch mosque by a white supremacist. In response to the shooting, she swiftly changed gun laws in New Zealand.
She burnished that reputation this year with a “go hard, go early” approach to coronavirus, which has eliminated locally spread COVID-19 in the nation. Voters are rewarding Ardern for crushing community transmission of Covid-19. New Zealand has not reported any active coronavirus cases since Oct 7, with all new infections limited to returned overseas travelers undergoing mandatory quarantine. The nation has recorded just 25 coronavirus deaths in all these months, which is remarkable.
The pandemic has affected the economy immensely, New Zealand pushes into the worst recession in years. To overcome this, Arden said, “New Zealand is in for a tough economic ride and it is going to need a better fiscal policy than we have so far seen.” Labour is pledging massive spending on infrastructure to boost the economy.