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Polls close in New Zealand's neck-and-neck national election

New Zealand Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford paint their fence at home in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, Sept. 23, ...
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English serves ice creams for supporters in Pokeno, New Zealand, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. English is fighting to keep h...
New Zealand Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford arrive for the funeral of Ardern's grandmother Margaret Bottomley at St David's Co...
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English embraces a National Party mascot while on the campaign trail in Cambridge, New Zealand, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017...
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English holds his great-nephews, Archibald and Huxbury Scanlon, while campaigning in Hamilton, New Zealand, Friday, Se...
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English waits to be interviewed on television in Taupo, New Zealand, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. English is fighting to ke...
New Zealand Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern paints her fence at home in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. New Zealanders were voting...
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English talks to the media at his hotel in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. New Zealanders were voting...
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English talks to the media at his hotel in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. New Zealanders were voting...

New Zealand Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford paint their fence at home in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, Sept. 23, ...

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English serves ice creams for supporters in Pokeno, New Zealand, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. English is fighting to keep h...

New Zealand Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford arrive for the funeral of Ardern's grandmother Margaret Bottomley at St David's Co...

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English embraces a National Party mascot while on the campaign trail in Cambridge, New Zealand, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017...

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English holds his great-nephews, Archibald and Huxbury Scanlon, while campaigning in Hamilton, New Zealand, Friday, Se...

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English waits to be interviewed on television in Taupo, New Zealand, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. English is fighting to ke...

New Zealand Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern paints her fence at home in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. New Zealanders were voting...

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English talks to the media at his hotel in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. New Zealanders were voting...

New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English talks to the media at his hotel in Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. New Zealanders were voting...

AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Polls have closed in New Zealand's national elections and the first results are trickling in for what is shaping up to be a close race between conservative Prime Minister Bill English and liberal challenger Jacinda Ardern.

Early results on Saturday showed English's National Party a little ahead of Ardern's Labour Party.

However, under New Zealand's proportional voting system, large parties typically must form alliances with smaller parties in order to govern. That means there's a chance there will be no clear winner on election night, and that parties may bargain with each other over the coming days or weeks to form a coalition.

Ardern, 37, has enjoyed a remarkable surge in popularity since taking over as opposition leader last month. English, 55, has highlighted his experience and promised tax cuts.


Updated : 2021-10-26 22:29 GMT+08:00