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New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern eyes majority as New Zealand heads to polls

October 17, 2020 10:38 am

Millions in New Zealand are heading to the polls in the country’s general elections.

The vote was originally due to be in September but was postponed by a month after a renewed Covid-19 outbreak.

Opinion polls put Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on course to win a second term, boosted by her successful handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

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But the big question now is whether she will win a parliamentary majority, which would be unprecedented.

No party has won an outright majority in New Zealand since it introduced a parliamentary system known as Mixed Member Proportional representation (MMP) in 1996.

Voting opened at 09:00 local time (20:00 GMT Friday) and will end at 19:00.

More than a million people have already voted in early polling which opened up on 3 October.

New Zealanders are also being asked to vote in two referendums alongside the general election vote.

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