The general election in New Zealand has ended in a stalemate with the ruling National Party falling short of a clear-cut majority to govern for the fourth time, according to official results.
National and Labour had been almost neck and neck in opinion polls, with charismatic 37-year old Jacinda Ardern almost single-handedly dragging Labour back into the race after taking over the party’s leadership in August.
Prime Minister Bill English claimed victory on Saturday after the National Party took 46 per cent of the votes and 58 seats – three less than the required 61 needed to govern.
Main opposition rival Labour Party finished second with 35.8 percent of the votes, claiming 45 seats.
“As things stand we do have the balance of political responsibility and we’re not going to be hasty with that,” Peters told supporters.
“We’ll make a decision in the interests of all New Zealand and New Zealand First, that is the whole country, not ourselves in the party but in the national interest and that will take some time,” he added.
Leader of the minority New Zealand First (NZF) party, Winston Peters, gave no indication which of the two blocs his party would support.
NZF won nine seats from 7.5 percent of the vote. Read more