Analysis: Jessica Mutch McKay's 2020 political winners and losers

The winners and losers of the political year that is 2020 are “very obvious”, says 1 NEWS political editor Jessica Mutch McKay.

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1 NEWS’ political editor rounds up the tumultuous political year and looks ahead to 2021. Source: Breakfast

Top of the winners' list is Labour after its “extraordinary” election result, which saw it return to Government without needing a coalition partner, Mutch McKay said.

“Jacinda Ardern has been internationally praised for her handling of the health response of Covid-19."

Mutch McKay said another big winner was the ACT Party, with their representation in Parliament increasing ten-fold at the election.

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ACT is on the way to its best ever election result. Source: 1 NEWS

As for the losers camp, New Zealand First and its leader Winston Peters who “struggled to get back in and didn’t have a good year”, she said.

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The NZ First leader was keeping his head down today, leaving Shane Jones to speak for the party. Source: 1 NEWS

Mutch McKay said Peters and New Zealand First might have benefited from playing up its relationship with Labour during the campaign, rather than opposing the party.

She said Peters not returning to Parliament was a “big loss”.

National also had its “really bad result” during the election, which saw its caucus shrink from 56 to 33. In the mix, too, was its multiple leadership changes, she said.

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Looking ahead to 2021, Mutch McKay said Labour could be looking ahead to a “big year”, and there was “a lot of expectation” on them.

“There were lots of so-called handbrakes along the way that they weren’t able to do the things that they wanted to,” she said of the previous Labour-led Government with New Zealand First and the Greens.

“The thing is now, they can be transformational. So, let’s see if they’re going to be.”