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New Zealand's Ardern credits virus response for election win

New Zealand extends Auckland lockdown as virus cluster grows....   New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern smiles as she addresses a press conference where she announced New Zealand will drop to Covid-19 alert level 1 at midnight tonight, in Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, June 8, 2020. The announcement was greeted with joy around the country and means the nation of five million people will be among the first to welcome throngs of fans back into sports stadiums, embrace crowded concerts and remove seating restrictions from flights.  (Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald via AP)
Posted at 1:06 AM, Oct 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-18 01:06:01-04

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — A day after winning a second term in a landside victory, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she sees the election result as an endorsement of her government’s efforts to stamp out the coronavirus and reboot the economy.

Speaking at a cafe near her Auckland home, Ardern says she expects to form a new government within three weeks and to prioritize work on the virus response.

Her popularity soared earlier this year after she led a successful effort to halt the spread of the virus by implementing a strict lockdown in late March.

Ardern’s liberal Labour Party got 49% of the vote, crushing the conservative National Party, which got 27%.

Ardern says the margin of the victory exceeded their expectations.