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Initial Vote Tally in New Zealand General Election Suggests Christopher Luxon Likely to Become Next Prime Minister

by Gabriel Martinez
10 comments
New Zealand general election

The general election in New Zealand concluded this past Saturday, and the counting of ballots has commenced. Preliminary results suggest a potential shift towards conservative leadership after six years of liberal governance, primarily under Jacinda Ardern.

Approximately a quarter of the votes have been counted, and Christopher Luxon, a former business executive, appears well-positioned to assume the role of the nation’s prime minister.

Ardern stepped down from her post in January, citing exhaustion and the feeling of not being able to adequately perform her duties. Despite winning the previous election by an overwhelming margin, her approval ratings declined as the public grew increasingly frustrated with ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and looming economic inflation.

In the wake of Ardern’s resignation, Chris Hipkins, aged 45, assumed the role of party leader. He had prior experience as the education minister and was instrumental in managing New Zealand’s COVID-19 response.

Initial counts show that Luxon’s National Party has secured over 40% of the votes. Given New Zealand’s proportional representation system, it is anticipated that Luxon, aged 53, will form a coalition with the libertarian ACT Party.

In contrast, the Labour Party under Hipkins garnered slightly above 25% of the votes, which is roughly half of what it achieved in the last election under Ardern.

Luxon has campaigned on reducing taxes for middle-income families and taking stringent measures against crime. On the other hand, Hipkins has pledged free dental care for individuals under the age of 30 and proposed the elimination of sales taxes on fruits and vegetables.

Another critical aspect of this election is the future of the government’s interaction with the Indigenous Māori population. Luxon has vowed to dissolve the Māori Health Authority, arguing that it leads to a bifurcated healthcare system. Hipkins, however, has championed co-governance models and accused Luxon of supporting racially biased policies.

Shortly after assuming leadership in January, Hipkins faced significant challenges, including catastrophic flooding and a cyclone. He quickly distanced himself from some of Ardern’s more polarizing policies, pledging to focus on mitigating the rising cost of living.

Voter turnout in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, appeared robust, encouraged possibly by the warm spring weather. However, early voting prior to Election Day was notably lower compared to previous elections.

During the six-week election campaign, both Luxon and Hipkins actively toured the country, engaging in various public appearances. On the last day of campaigning, Hipkins participated in a Zumba class in an Auckland market, although he appeared somewhat uncoordinated.

Polling data showed a slight uptick for Hipkins and the Labour Party in the days leading up to the election, giving the incumbent party some hope.

Meanwhile, Luxon rallied supporters in Auckland, advocating for getting New Zealand “back on track.” Earlier, Luxon, who had previously served as the CEO of both Unilever Canada and Air New Zealand, vowed to address gang-related crime.

“While crime is rampant in this country,” Luxon declared, “we will reinstate law and order and promote individual responsibility.”

Luxon also received applause for promising to alleviate the capital city’s traffic congestion through a new tunnel project.

Although relatively new to the political scene, Luxon performed competently against the more seasoned Hipkins in televised debates, according to analysts. However, Luxon did face criticism for being out of touch with everyday citizens, particularly after underestimating the average weekly food expenses in a televised debate.

For further updates on Asia-Pacific news, visit https://bigbignews.net/asia-pacific.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about New Zealand general election

What are the preliminary results of the New Zealand general election indicating?

The initial vote count suggests that Christopher Luxon and his National Party are likely to form the next government. They have garnered over 40% of the votes counted so far.

Who is poised to become the next Prime Minister of New Zealand according to early results?

According to early results, Christopher Luxon, a former business executive, is well-positioned to become the next Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Why did Jacinda Ardern step down from her role as Prime Minister?

Jacinda Ardern stepped down in January, citing exhaustion and the feeling that she could no longer perform her duties to the best of her ability.

Who took over the leadership of the Labour Party after Ardern’s departure?

Chris Hipkins, who had previously served as the education minister and was instrumental in managing New Zealand’s COVID-19 response, took over as the leader of the Labour Party.

What are some of the key campaign promises made by Christopher Luxon and Chris Hipkins?

Christopher Luxon has promised tax cuts for middle-income earners and a crackdown on crime. Chris Hipkins, on the other hand, has pledged free dental care for individuals under 30 and the removal of sales taxes on fruits and vegetables.

What is at stake in terms of New Zealand’s relationship with the Indigenous Māori population?

Christopher Luxon has vowed to dissolve the Māori Health Authority, claiming it creates a bifurcated healthcare system. Chris Hipkins supports co-governance models and has accused Luxon of supporting racially biased policies.

How did the Labour Party perform in this election compared to the last one?

The Labour Party under Chris Hipkins garnered slightly above 25% of the votes, which is about half of what it achieved in the last election under Jacinda Ardern.

What challenges did Chris Hipkins face soon after assuming leadership?

Shortly after taking over in January, Chris Hipkins had to manage crises including catastrophic flooding and a cyclone. He distanced himself from some of Ardern’s more polarizing policies and focused on mitigating the rising cost of living.

How did voter turnout in Auckland compare to previous elections?

Voter turnout in Auckland seemed robust, possibly encouraged by warm spring weather. However, early voting prior to Election Day was notably lower compared to previous elections.

Did either candidate make any significant gaffes during the campaign?

Christopher Luxon faced criticism for appearing out of touch with the average cost of living when he underestimated the average weekly food expenses during a televised debate.

More about New Zealand general election

  • New Zealand General Election 2023: Preliminary Results
  • Christopher Luxon: Profile and Policies
  • The Labour Party Under Chris Hipkins
  • Jacinda Ardern’s Resignation: Reasons and Reactions
  • New Zealand’s Proportional Voting System Explained
  • Indigenous Māori and New Zealand Politics
  • New Zealand’s Economic Challenges: Inflation and Cost of Living
  • Chris Hipkins’ Leadership Challenges: Floods and Cyclones
  • Voter Turnout in Auckland: A Comparative Analysis
  • New Zealand Election Debates: Highlights and Gaffes

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10 comments

Sarah Connor October 14, 2023 - 9:12 am

Luxon might be good with businesses, but politics is a whole different ballgame. Let’s see how he performs.

Reply
Alan Greene October 14, 2023 - 11:48 am

Hipkins had it tough from day one, floods and cyclones, geez. Can’t blame him for the poll numbers.

Reply
Tom Johnson October 14, 2023 - 12:03 pm

lol Luxon saying he spends 60 bucks on food a week. Clearly out of touch.

Reply
Emily Thompson October 14, 2023 - 12:04 pm

Really sad to see Ardern go. she was such an icon. But hey, change is inevitable.

Reply
Nina Patel October 14, 2023 - 5:39 pm

A new tunnel project? Finally, someone’s thinking about the traffic mess in Wellington.

Reply
John Smith October 14, 2023 - 6:46 pm

Wow, seems like NZ is going for a big change. Who’d have thought Luxon would get so much support right?

Reply
Kevin O'Reilly October 14, 2023 - 11:53 pm

What’s this gonna mean for the Maori folks? Luxon’s policies sound a bit concerning to me.

Reply
Mark Williams October 15, 2023 - 12:09 am

I dunno about the ACT party, their alliance with National is a bit sketchy to me.

Reply
Rachel Lee October 15, 2023 - 3:27 am

im not surprised. with the cost of living going up, people are looking for something new.

Reply
Lisa Kim October 15, 2023 - 4:47 am

Ardern’s absence is really felt. Her policies may have been controversial, but she had a unique leadership style.

Reply

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