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New Zealand election ends in stalemate triggering coalition talks

Sep 24, 2017, 00:33
New Zealand election ends in stalemate triggering coalition talks

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is set to be kingmaker, as the New Zealand election on Saturday ended with neither major party securing a majority to form government.

On the final count, Mr English's National Party and current ally ACT had 59 seats, two shy of the 61 needed to win.

Ms Ardern has phoned Mr English and acknowledged his National party has won the largest share of the seats.

When the election was announced in February, many assumed the result would be a slam-dunk for National Party leader Bill English, who took over from John Key in December.

New Zealanders go to the polls tomorrow in a cliffhanger election that sees conservative Prime Minister Bill English battling a challenge from young rival Jacinda Ardern.

New Zealand's parliamentary elections on Saturday yield no clear victor as tally ended in the wee hours of Sunday, leaving the third largest party with 7.5 percent of the votes the kingmaker.

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"We believe the country clearly wants a coherent government", he said. 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.

The Green Party will likely align itself with Labour, Bramwell said. She said Labour hadn't "done as well as I would have liked" but she would continue to be "relentlessly positive".

In the past, he has raised concerns about New Zealand becoming an "Asian colony" and warned about migrants taking jobs from locals.

National's 58 seats were higher than Labour and Greens put together at 52, but neither combination had enough to govern on their own.

Galvanised support for the ailing party gave it a 20-point popularity boost to draw level with National.

The National Party waved so many olive branches towards Winston Peters last night the New Zealand First leader must have felt the winds 230 km north in Russell.

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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. New Zealanders voted for a change - more parties voted against National than for it.

Votes for the Green Party, which has a working agreement with Labour, reached 5.8 per cent.

Upon Ms Ardern taking the position, Mr Little told New Zealand's TV 1 News, "I take responsibility for that and it is my judgement that the party and the people who we are campaigning for will be better served by a new leader who can bring a fresh face and a fresh voice to this vital campaign".

She talked about contacting James Shaw.

Citizens of New Zealand and Germany living in Australia will get to cast their ballots in their country's elections, with both nations heading to the polls this weekend.

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