Labour’s Hopes Dim in New Zealand’s First Post-Ardern Election

Labour’s Hopes Dim in New Zealand’s First Post-Ardern Election
New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins speaks to the media after meeting British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, London, May 5, 2023 (AP photo by Frank Augstein).

New Zealand’s election campaign is ending with little fanfare. Yet the vote on Oct. 14 is poised to deliver significant change, whatever the outcome.

The last time the country went to the polls, in 2020, then-Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s successful initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic saw her Labour Party rewarded with an absolute majority—an unprecedented result under the proportional representation system used since 1996.

Fast-forward three years and Ardern’s battle against COVID-19 is all but a memory.

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