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The election was commonly dubbed the “Covid election”, with the coronavirus pandemic the main issue for voters throughout the campaign. Jacinda Ardern, the incumbent Prime Minister from the Labour Party, had been widely praised for her handling of the pandemic and the “hard and early” plan introduced by her Government in the early stages. She led in the polls throughout the campaign.

Preliminary results from the election show Ms Ardern won a landslide victory, securing 49.1 per cent of the votes and a projected 64 seats in the new (53rd) Parliament: a rare outright parliamentary majority.

The final tally will be revealed on 6 November, once overseas and special votes have been counted.

As well as electing Members of Parliament, New Zealand’s electorate voted on two referendums: one to decriminalise the recreational use of marijuana; the other to allow some terminally ill people to request assisted dying.

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