New Zealand Swings to the Centre Right in Post-Ardern Era
New Zealand’s Labour party has suffered a humbling defeat after early election results suggested a halving of its parliamentary seats compared with Jacinda Ardern’s triumph in 2020, Nic Fildes writes from Sydney for the Financial Times.
The centre right National party, led by Christopher Luxon, is on course to lead the country with support from the libertarian ACT party. The coalition would hold a projected 64 seats between them in the 120-seat parliament.
Grant Robertson, finance minister, told broadcaster 1News that his government had struggled to combat the electorate’s “time for a change” mood.
Luxon said he would scrap unpopular Labour policies including the establishment of a separate health body for Māori. He also pledged tax cuts and a crackdown on crime.
Luxon, 53, is a former Air New Zealand chief executive and also worked for Unilever. He is something of a blank canvas for voters given he has only served one term in parliament.
Original article by Nic Fildes, Financial Times, October 14, 2023.