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Labour on track for majority win in New Zealand election

On the basis of early results, Jacinda Ardern’s Labour party appears to have stormed to victory in New Zealand’s election.

With 10 per cent of votes counted, Labour has won 49.9 per cent of the vote, which would give it an unprecedented majority in parliament.

The opposition National party, led by Judith Collins, is sitting at 26 per cent and heading for a disastrous result.

Almost two million Kiwis chose to cast ballots in the fortnight prior to election day on October 17, allowing the Electoral Commission to count votes quickly.

Labour entered the evening with a 15-point lead in the polls but on the basis of the early numbers, has outperformed expectations.

The results have Labour on track for a parliamentary majority, a result no party has achieved since the adoption of mixed-member proportional voting in 1996.

Minor parties the Greens and ACT are on track to secure increased representations in Wellington, while New Zealand First looks set to miss parliament.

Labour are holding their election night party at Auckland Town Hall, with hundreds watching coverage and cheering as the results come in.

National have downscaled their event to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, a much smaller venue.

Labour currently governs with the support of minor parties New Zealand First and the Greens.

Should it miss out on a majority, Labour is still assured to continue in government if the Greens are returned, as the left-wingers have promised to support Ms Ardern for another term.

With 10 per cent of the vote counted, the Greens are on 8.4 per cent.

Right-wing libertarians ACT are on 7.7 per cent, a huge gain from 0.5 per cent at the last election.

New Zealand First is at 2.2 per cent, a figure which would spell the end of leader Winston Peters’ political career.

The 75-year-old first entered parliament in 1979 and currently serves as deputy prime minister and foreign minister.

If the numbers hold, Deputy Labour Leader Kelvin Davis will become deputy prime minister, though he told Newshub it was “too early to start talking about things like that”

“It is looking positive though,” he said.

Kiwis are also voting in two referenda – to legalise cannabis, and separately, to legalise euthanasia – but the result of those ballots won’t be confirmed until next month.

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