New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern wins general election. Labour party from beginning of counting maintain lead and is in commanding leads as counting progressing.
Jacinda, 40-year-old leader went head to head with Judith Collins of the National Party in the election to form the country’s 53rd parliament – a referendum on Ms Ardern’s three-year term.
Ms Ardern told roaring crowds: “Thank you to the people who worked so hard to share our message. Who volunteered in what felt like an endless campaign.
“But most importantly thank you to the many people who gave us their vote, who trusted us to continue with leading New Zealand’s recovery.
“And to those amongst you who may not have supported Labour before – and the results tell me there were a few of you – to you I say thank you.
“We will not take your support for granted. And I can promise you we will be a party that governs for every New Zealander.”
With more than 70% of the vote counted, Labour had secured 49%, with the opposition National party on 27%.
Labour was expected to win 64 of the 120 seats in parliament, and National, 35.
The leader of the opposition, Judith Collins, congratulated Ardern on the her “outstanding result” on Saturday night.
Labour lead began early on in the night, with each hour passed the commanding lead continuing.
Jacinda Ardern may be addressing supporters in Auckland anytime hereafter.