New Zealand's ruling party ahead in election

New Zealand's ruling party ahead in election

New Zealand's ruling party ahead in election

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English has addressed hundreds of supporters in Auckland after his National Party won the most votes in the general election.

Speaking to supporters in Auckland, the Prime Minister underscored that "just short of half of all New Zealanders voted National" but said it was clear his party could not form government alone.

Early results suggest incumbent Bill English's National Party is a little ahead of Jacinda Ardern's Labour Party.

Moreover, English was legitimising New Zealand First as a government partner with the other party they had legitimised, National.

No party has formed a majority government in New Zealand since proportional voting was adopted in 1996, and this election is unlikely to change that.

"We gave it everything, and we got better and better", he said.

For English, who campaigned heavily on National's economic credentials after taking the party leadership previous year, the strong showing was a vindication after National crashed to its worst ever election result in 2002 under his first stint as leader. The elevation of Ardern to the leadership changed all that - she electrified the campaign and created a wave of excitement that saw her party jump to level pegging with National.

It sounded more like a stump speech than one created to win Winston and influence New Zealand First or one that expressed commiserations for the three MPs who have lost seats, Mojo Mathers, Barry Coates and Denise Roche.

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Having worked with the Maori Party, Act and United Future over these past terms, English believed National knew the process of government forming and knew it had to be undertaken with respect.

"Seven weeks ago I stood in front of the press and New Zealand as the newly elected leader of the New Zealand Labour Party".

Peters, 72, a political veteran who has played the kingmaker in two previous elections, said he had an important decision to make and would not be rushed.

"We'll make a decision in the interests of all New Zealand and New Zealand First, that is the whole country, not ourselves in the party but in the national interest and that will take some time", he added. Labour calls for renegotiating the TPP so that the New Zealand government can maintain the right to restrict foreign nationals from purchasing property. With just 5.9 per cent of the vote the Greens have lost half of their 14 seats in parliament, a outcome of the complex fallout after Metiria Turei revealed her historic benefit fraud.

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

Ardern said she expected to have conversations with both James Shaw and Winston Peters tomorrow.

Labour would get a coalition Government just over the line with the support of NZ First and the Greens.

"I've always been quite confident of my community here in Nelson, there's been the Greens talking up their game a lot but Nelson's doing extraordinarily well", he told RNZ earlier.

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