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New Zealand Ardern ready to step down if she loses Saturday general election

Friday, October 16th 2020 - 06:07 UTC
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Ardern responded with a firm “no” when asked during a televised debate whether she would remain as opposition leader if the vote does not go her way Ardern responded with a firm “no” when asked during a televised debate whether she would remain as opposition leader if the vote does not go her way

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday that she will step down as leader of the center-left Labour Party if opinion polls prove to be wrong and she loses Saturday's general election.

The prospect appears remote, with Labour enjoying a 15-point lead in the polls, but Ardern responded with a firm “no” when asked during a televised debate whether she would remain as opposition leader if the vote does not go her way.

The 40-year-old, who has led New Zealand through a string of crises in the past three years culminating in the COVID-19 pandemic, said her commitment to the job had demanded sacrifice.

“I never take for granted that I'm here. I give my everything,” she said. “No matter what crisis is thrown my way, you will always be assured I will give my everything to this job, even if that means a huge sacrifice.”

Ardern said that even if she was not in parliament, she would still be involved in politics in some capacity, saying she wanted to effect change and take debate beyond mudslinging insults.

“I want our nation not to be completely polarized, and actually, relative to other countries, we do a pretty good job on that,” she said.

A TVNZ poll released on Thursday put Labor's support at 46%, down one point from a month ago, but well ahead of the conservative National Party, which also slipped a point to 31%.

Under New Zealand's proportional voting system, Ardern would still need minor party support to govern, but current coalition partner the Greens would easily get her over the line, lifting its support two points to 8%.

Ardern's personal popularity as preferred prime minister was up five points to 55%, while National leader Judith Collins fell three points to 20%.

Categories: Politics, International.

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    Weird heading to this article.... it is the norm for a leader to step down after losing an election in the Westminster system.

    Oct 16th, 2020 - 03:31 pm +1
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