New Zealand Election

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gestures as she gives her victory speech to Labour Party members at an event in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday. 

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won a second term in office Saturday in an election landslide of historic proportions.

With most votes counted, Ardern’s liberal Labour Party was winning 49% of the vote compared to 27% for its main challenger, the conservative National Party.

Labour was on target to win an outright majority of the seats in Parliament, something that hasn’t happened since New Zealand implemented a proportional voting system 24 years ago. Typically, parties must form alliances to govern, but this time Ardern and Labour can go it alone.

In a victory speech in front of hundreds of cheering supporters in Auckland, Ardern said her party had gotten more support from New Zealanders that at any time in at least 50 years. 

“This has not been an ordinary election, and it’s not an ordinary time,” she said. “It’s been full of uncertainty and anxiety, and we set out to be an antidote to that.”

Ardern promised not to take her new supporters for granted and to govern for all New Zealanders. 

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