Jacinda Ardern: 'We have a strengthened mandate' to form government




Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says Labour's one-seat gain from special votes gives the party a strengthened mandate to negotiate and form a government.

The centre left picked up two seats, while National has lost two seats.
Source: 1 NEWS

Labour has gained one seat, now giving them 46 seats while the Greens also gained one, now giving them eight seats.

The left bloc's gains have come at the expense of National which has lost two seats and now has 56.

"This now means that we have a strengthened mandate to negotiate and form a durable, stable coalition government," Ms Ardern told media this afternoon.

A Labour-Greens-New Zealand First grouping would hold 63 seats. A National-NZ First bloc would have 65.

Asked will Labour's negotiations be with NZ First leader Winston Peters, Mr Ardern said: "My expectation is we'll start those negotiations in earnest this weekend. I'm not going to confirm whether or not those will be with New Zealand First, but I certainly know that we all have a tight timetable that we're working towards and that we are ready to be a part of those."

She said: "These results show that the majority of New Zealanders voted against the status quo, that the majority of New Zealanders voted for change.

"I would be proud to be prime minister in a changed government and a Labour-led government. We will continue our negotiations in earnest with potential support parties, beginning this weekend."

Final Result after special votes:

National: 56 seats
Labour: 46 seats
NZ First: Nine seats
Green Party: Eight seats
ACT New Zealand: One seat

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