‘Jacindamania’ set to return Jacinda Ardern as New Zealand PM
October 16, 2020 4:42 pm
Supporters line up for selfies with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as she campaigns in Auckland. [Source: Aljazeera]
Jacinda Ardern is on track for a second term as New Zealand’s prime minister in elections that will take place on Saturday.
This is thanks largely to her handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has helped burnish her image as an effective leader.
While the government has lost some support since the coronavirus resurfaced in Auckland in August, recent opinion polls show it is still polling at 46 percent compared with the National Party’s 31 percent with just two days to go before the election.
Political scientist and gardening enthusiast Georgina Murray cast one of her two votes to the Green Party in a bid “to keep the Labour Party honest”. In New Zealand, people get to express their preference for both – a candidate and a party. This year, the country had a record number of advance votes.
“Jacindamania” has not always had a hold on voters. Despite leading the country through a “terrorist attack” in March 2019, a volcanic eruption in December, and making the cover of Vogue and TIME magazine, Ardern’s Labour Party had actually fallen behind the opposition National Party in February.